Republicans hint at possible deal with Democrats on House Speaker as internal fight continues

Mr Turner said Democrats ‘rejected bipartisanship’ by refusing to vote to keep Mr McCarthy as House Speaker

Graig Graziosi
Sunday 15 October 2023 14:41 EDT

Related video: The search for House speaker continues

Republican Congressman Mike Turner said House Republicans will have to seek a deal with Democrats if the fractured party cannot come to an agreement on who should replace Congressman Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker.

Nearly two weeks ago, Congressman Matt Gaetz and seven other hardline MAGA Republican lawmakers voted to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker after he brokered a deal with Democrats to keep the government running.

The move was condemned by numerous House GOP lawmakers, who complained that it projects dysfunction and an inability to govern.

House Republicans have failed thus far to coalesce behind a new speaker. Congressman Steve Scalise floated a run but withdrew his name from consideration after he failed to rally enough support to secure the position.

Congressman Jim Jordan, Donald Trump's preferred Speaker, is also running, but will likely be opposed by some Republicans who objected to Mr McCarthy's removal.

Appearing on CBS's Face the Nation, Congressman Mike Turner acknowledged that Mr Jordan was trying to gather enough support — 217 votes — to take the job, but acknowledged he hadn't hit that number.

"Kevin [McCarthy], when he first came out of conference, where you're nominated to be speaker, also did not have enough votes to be speaker — actually he didn't have enough votes when he first got to the House floor. And then the coalition formed that elected him. Jordan is working right now to put that coalition together to get to 217," Mr Turner said.

When asked if the GOP would look to the Democrats to help shore up enough votes to elect a Speaker, he said he would prefer if the Republicans could come to some agreement, but acknowledged that they may have to cut a deal.

"So, at this point, I would prefer there to be a Republican solution, because when- when [House Democrats] rejected bipartisanship, it's kind of hard to then go back to it. But we have a lot of people on the bench. I think Jim Jordan will be an excellent speaker. I think he'll be able to get to 217," he said.

"If not, we have other leaders in the House. And certainly, if there is a need if the radical, you know, almost just handful of people in the Republican side, make it unable- to make it for us unable to be able to return to general work on the House, then I think obviously, there will be a deal we'll have to be done."

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