In apparent dig at McCarthy, Democrat Hakeem Jeffries nominated for speaker as a leader who does not 'grovel' to Trump
Democrats, now in the minority, nominated their leader Hakeem Jeffries for House Speaker.
They said he does not "grovel" to former President Donald Trump.
Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, who Trump called "my Kevin," is struggling to win enough votes.
In an apparent dig at Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, Democrats nominated their leader Hakeem Jeffries as House speaker, saying he does not "grovel" to former President Donald Trump.
Jeffries, of course, lost the vote on Tuesday, now that House Democrats are in the minority this Congress. But Democrats were on their feet cheering for Jeffries and clearly having more fun than Republicans, whose first day in the House majority devolved into chaos with far-right members fighting McCarthy in his bid for speaker.
Rep. Pete Aguilar, House Democratic Caucus chair, appeared to be emphasizing the sharp contrast with Republicans while nominating Jeffries, repeatedly saying Democrats are "united" behind "the pride of Brooklyn" and casting him as "an unapologetic advocate for protecting and expanding our freedoms."
"He does not traffic in extremism," said Aguilar. "He does not grovel to or make excuses for a twice-impeached, so-called former president... He does not bend a knee to anyone who would seek to undermine our democracy."
Aguilar added, "That's not what leaders do."
Trump famously called McCarthy "my Kevin" and backed him for House Speaker. Even so, McCarthy struggled to win the 218 votes needed, marking the first time in 100 years that a speaker vote failed on the first ballot. The House will vote again.
Jeffries, a 52-year-old New Yorker, succeeds House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as House Democratic leader this Congress. The Brooklyn native is the first Black lawmaker to lead a major party in Congress.
Aguilar, now in the party's No.3 position, is the highest-ranking Latino ever in the House.
"That's progress, and it's progress that the country wants to continue," Aguilar said.
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