California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy is finally House Speaker. After four days of wrangling and a late-night final push, McCarthy secured the position. He won with 216 votes with the six holdout “Never Kevin” House members simply voting “present.”
But through all, it was House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries who emerged as the real leader. Rising to give his first speech as House minority leader, Jeffries used the moment as an opportunity to set a tone for the next two years.
“We believe in a country with a peaceful transfer of power,” he said.
Jeffries recognized the experience and facilitation skills of Speaker-emerita Nancy Pelosi and thanked her for the path she set for him to come into leadership within the caucus. He ascends to the highest position held by a Black person in the House in either party. Meanwhile, McCarthy had to endure a humiliating
He also recounted the successes of Democrats in the House of Representatives with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs act and the American Rescue Plan. At points, the Brooklyn congressman sounds like he’s about to drop some bars. This isn’t surprising given his remarkable tribute to the late Notorious B.I.G. years earlier.
It sounded like he remixed Alphabet Aerobics by Blackalicious toward the end of his remarks.
But we do extend our hand of partnership to you and want to make clear that we extend and intend to try to find common ground whenever and wherever possible on behalf of the American people. Not as Democrats, not as Republicans, not as independents but as Americans.
But I also want to make clear that we will never compromise our principles. House Democrats will always put American values over autocracy. Benevolence over bigotry. The constitution over the cult. Democracy over demagogues.
Economic opportunity over extremism. Freedom over fascism. Governing over gaslighting. Hopefulness over hatred. Inclusion over isolation. Justice over judicial overreach. Knowledge over kangaroo courts. Liberty over limitation. Maturity over Mar-a-Lago. Normalcy over negativity. Opportunity over obstruction. People over politics.
Quality of life issues over Q Anon. Reason over racism. Substance over slander. Triumph over tyranny. Understanding over ugliness. Voting rights over voter suppression. Working families over the well-connected. Xenial over xenophobia. “Yes We Can” over “You Can’t Do It.” And zealous presentation over zero-sum confrontation.
We will always do the right thing by the American people. So let us not grow weary of doing good. For the American people will reap the benefit of the harvest if we do not give up.
Check out his full remarks below!
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