Newly elected Rep. James on 20 McCarthy holdouts: ‘Nancy Pelosi’s best friend’

Rep.-elect John James (R-Mich.) said the 20 Republicans who are continuing to withhold their support for House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) to become Speaker are “Nancy Pelosi’s best friend.” 

James told Fox News’s Sean Hannity in an interview on Thursday that the group still not supporting McCarthy following the concessions he has given them to win over their support is “nonsensical.” 

“We need to work forward and to work together because, frankly, these 20 holdouts are Nancy Pelosi’s [D-Calif.] best friend,” he said. “They are working right now in concert with the Democrats to stymie an America First agenda. And we cannot allow that to continue.” 

James said these 20 care more about their “egos” than the American people. 

“We’re beginning to cross that line between negotiation and extortion,” he said. “These 20 are beginning to extort the American people.” 

He said the constituents to the 20 holdouts should call their representatives to tell them that they “need to get to work for you and not for any nebulous agenda out there.” He said Democrats are winning because they “refuse” to take a victory. 

McCarthy has given numerous concessions to his opponents in an effort to consolidate GOP support behind him, but he has been unable to move any of them to back him. Among the concessions he has given include allowing a single Republican member to force a vote to remove the Speaker from their post at any time and creating a subcommittee to investigate the “Weaponization of the Federal Government.” 

McCarthy appeared to be approaching a deal on Thursday that would secure the support of some of those opposed to him, but some of them have still said there is nothing McCarthy can do to win them over. 

He has been unable to win the Speakership over the course of 11 ballots across three days, bringing the House to a standstill. The House is unable to do additional business, including swearing in new members and considering rules for the body, until a Speaker is chosen.

Tags House Speaker vote John James Kevin McCarthy Kevin McCarthy Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi

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