White House: Biden will not ‘insert himself’ into Speakership vote

President Biden
AP/Patrick Semansky
President Joe Biden walks on the South Lawn of the White House after stepping off Marine One, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday said that President Biden will not “insert himself” in the Speakership elections as the House is moving on to a third vote with no end in sight.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) lost the first two votes for Speaker of the House after facing stiff opposition from a small group of Republican critics. He is the first Speaker-nominee to not win on the first vote in a century.

“We’re certainly not going to insert ourselves in what’s happening on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue,” Jean-Pierre told reporters when pressed on the situation in the House.

She noted that Biden served in the Senate for 34 years and knows congressional protocol, which does not involve the president.

“He was a senator, he understands how this process works, and he’s just not going to insert himself, he’s going to let the process play out and continue to do the work of the American people,” Jean-Pierre said.

She also wouldn’t say if Biden has been watching the votes on Tuesday, noting that he has had a busy schedule with internal meetings.

“We are going to allow the Republican conference to have their process play out,” she said.

She said that the White House looks forward to working with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents in the new Congress. And, she highlighted the Democrats better-than-expected midterm results that caused the Senate to remain in Democratic hands and for Republicans to control the House by narrower margins than anticipated.

“What we saw was the American people said very loudly and clearly, they wanted us to come together and work towards a common ground,” she said.

The chaos in the House comes a day before Biden will travel to Kentucky to tout infrastructure investments alongside Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Senate Republicans voted to elect McConnell as their leader by a large majority in November.

Later this week, Biden will mark the second anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Tags Biden Joe Biden Karine Jean-Pierre Kevin McCarthy Kevin McCarthy

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