Home>Congress>Sherrill says Democrats open to moderate Speaker, but idea would have to originate from GOP

Rep. Mikie Sherrill at the Groundbreaking for the New Portal North Bridge, August 1, 2022. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe).

Sherrill says Democrats open to moderate Speaker, but idea would have to originate from GOP

N.J. congresswoman says slim majorities give power ‘to the extremes’

By David Wildstein, January 04 2023 2:11 pm

House Democrats might be willing to support a moderate Republican for Speaker if Kevin McCarthy is continues to be unable to win enough votes from his own caucus, Rep.-elect Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) said today, but “that has to be generated from the Republican Party.”

“They have they have to understand what they’re willing to do to have Democrats come over.  To just sort of go to Kevin McCarthy and say, look, we’re happy to vote for you – he’s already given up this store to the right wing.   So why would we make him Speaker when he’s already agreed to sort of the list of demands from the right?

To get a Speaker led by a bi-partisan coalition, Sherill said a consensus pick would have to come forward and say, “Look, here’s how I’m going to govern.  I think this makes sense for everyone.  I think it’s good for our country.  Will you agree to support me if I do this, this and this?”

The three-term New Jersey congresswoman-elect pointed to how the Pennsylvania legislature picked an independent as Speaker “who Republicans voted for as they’re looking for solutions to make sure that people are working together.”

“Maybe there’s a better candidate than McCarthy, somebody that’s more moderate and hasn’t engendered the anger in the extreme of the party,” stated Sherrill.

Earlier today, former Rep. Fred Upton, a 69-year-old moderate Republican from Michigan who retired this year after 36 years in Congress, has been mentioned as a possible consensus Speaker.  Upton told NBC News today that he would not rule out taking the post if offered.

“We are seeing the nation trying to balance us out here, trying to force us to work together, trying to force us to some equilibrium in our nation,”  Sherrill said.  “Democrats had this really slim majority. The Republicans have a really slim majority, and the Senate was tied in the last Congress;  this time it’s still very, very tight.  So the public’s trying to push us, I think, towards a more towards more moderation, away from the extremes, towards solutions and getting stuff done.”

But Sherill views the slim majorities as more empowering “to the extremes.”

“Unless you choose to work with the other side of the aisle, and that’s been something that that my speaker previously was not really willing to do very much,” she said.  “McCarthy hasn’t shown signs of doing that.”

Still, Sherill remains uncertain about the House GOP game plan.

“I don’t think that the moderates in the Republican Party would allow someone like a Jim Jordan to come forward,” she said.  “My sense is that this is sort of a Republican playbook idea that they’ve had in the past where they’re going to put they haven’t executed it, but they’re going to put someone forward that they know will be unacceptable to the moderates and then come forward with a consensus candidate.”

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