Democrats float deal to end House Speaker fight

House Democrats are offering a deal to Republicans to end the fractious fight to choose a new speaker. The House has been leaderless since Republicans deposed Speaker Kevin McCarthy in a coup last week, and multiple GOP speaker candidates have so far been unable to form a working coalition among their colleagues. In a letter to House Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-NC), four Democrats said they would be willing to grant him limited powers in an effort to restore basic government functions. The issues identified by the Democrats were foreign aid and emergency supplemental funding for Ukraine and Israel; an extension of the current continuing resolution funding the government until Jan. 11; and consideration of remaining House appropriation bills for Fiscal Year 2024.

The House Republican Conference has been unable to coalesce behind a candidate for the job. Rep. Steve Scalise, who won an internal House vote this week, was unable to win over enough opponents to secure the gavel in a vote from the floor. He withdrew from the speaker race on Thursday. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the firebrand chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, won a vote among his colleagues for the job on Friday. While Jordan is a favourite among conservatives, he has struggled to win support among moderates and appears to have an even harder wall of opposition than Scalise. One House GOP insider dismissed working with Democrats as “West Wing fan fiction,” but warned that Jordan had at least 20 “hard no”s” among his colleagues.

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