Home>Congress>Another day, another set of N.J. delegation votes for Jeffries, McCarthy

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries. (Photo: House Democratic Conference).

Another day, another set of N.J. delegation votes for Jeffries, McCarthy

Speaker vote has now gone through 11 ballots with no resolution

By Joey Fox, January 05 2023 8:08 pm

The third day of voting for a new U.S. House Speaker has once again ended without a resolution, with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) falling short of a majority thanks to a cohort of 21 Republican holdouts. The House has now gone through 11 unsuccessful votes, five of which happened today.

But just like yesterday and the day before, New Jersey’s three Republican House members – Reps.-elect Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis), Chris Smith (R-Manchester), and Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield) – voted for McCarthy with no hesitation.

Their insistence on sticking with McCarthy isn’t surprising; all three are relatively moderate, at least compared to the far-right politics of the anti-McCarthy representatives, and all three committed before the election to backing the two-term House Minority Leader.

All nine House Democrats from New Jersey have also stuck by their caucus’s Speaker nominee, House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York). The 212-member Democratic caucus overall has not had a single defection, unanimously supporting Jeffries in all ten rounds of voting.

Through social media, press releases, and other media outlets, Democrats have expressed their incredulity and frustration with the drawn-out process.

“We came here because we know there’s work to be done … and it’s frustrating that we can’t even get close to beginning that work because of the complete dysfunction of the Republican Party,” Rep-elect. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City) told the New Jersey Monitor.

Van Drew, meanwhile, has become similarly frustrated, though his anger is directed at the few breakaway Republicans rather than at McCarthy or the overall Republican conference.

“There are multiple levels of Dante’s Inferno, and we’re in one of them right now,” Van Drew told the New York Times. “We’ve got to get everybody back in the room and start beating the daylights out of each other.”

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