Clyburn suggests McCarthy seek Democratic support for Speaker amid GOP infighting

The South Carolina Democrat's suggestion comes as McCarthy is struggling to secure enough support from his own party to lead the lower chamber.

Updated: December 5, 2022 - 6:03pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

South Carolina Democratic Rep. James Clyburn this week suggested that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy seek support from Democrats to become Speaker of the House as several Republicans have already pledged not to back him for the role, potentially jeopardizing his leadership.

"If there are seven or eight people who are not going to vote for him, then I would advise him to go and look on the other side of the aisle and see whether or not there are some deals over there to be made as well," Clyburn told MSNBC host Jonathan Capehart on "The Sunday Show."

"Sit down with Hakeem Jeffries and talk about the future of this country, talk about doing as many things as we possibly can in a bipartisan way. That's how you do it," he followed up. "You bring votes to the table. We bring votes to the table. Let's see what we can do about fashioning a bipartisan approach to making this country's greatness accessible and affordable for all of its citizens."

 "I think that if we could sit down together, we might be able to forge an agenda that would be acceptable to 218 people," Clyburn added. McCarthy has pledged not to seek support from across the aisle, The Hill reported.

The South Carolina Democrat's suggestion comes as McCarthy is struggling to secure enough support from his own party to lead the lower chamber. At least five conservatives have publicly opposed his leadership and, with the GOP poised to secure 222 House seats, their opposition would leave the California Republican one vote shy of the 218 minimum for majority support.

He previously fended off an internal leadership challenge from Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs in the GOP nominating contest, winning handily with 188 votes to his challenger's 31.

The House is slated to become a Republican majority on Jan. 3.

Just the News Spotlight