Jeffries says McCarthy concessions to far-right members ‘just the beginning’

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) on Sunday said Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) concessions to far-right lawmakers in order to flip their votes in his favor during the Speakership elections are “just the beginning” of “dysfunction” in the new GOP-led House.

“Well, our general concern is that the dysfunction that was historic that we saw this week is not at an end, it’s just the beginning,” Jeffries said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” with host Chuck Todd.

“And while the Congress was held captive this particular time, what is going to be a problem is if the American people will be held captive over the next two years to the extreme ‘MAGA’ Republican agenda that apparently has been negotiated into the House rules and the functioning of the Congress,” Jeffries said.

Jeffries earned all 212 votes from Democrats for his leadership post, at times surpassing McCarthy while around 20 lawmakers opposed the California Republican for Speaker. McCarthy ultimately flipped enough hard-liners in his favor to ascend to the top of the chamber, with six members voting “present” in a 15th round of voting early Saturday morning.

McCarthy made a number of concessions to far-right lawmakers that empower the rank-and-file, including some of McCarthy’s own foes, at the expense of his own leadership, raising concerns that it could cripple government’s function.

“That’s going to undermine the health, the safety, and the well-being of the American people,” Jeffries said of the GOP dealings on display during the Speakership election. “It may undermine national security and a robust defense, and undermine our ability to actually advance an agenda that is anchored in kitchen-table pocketbook issues and not extremism.”

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