House speaker battle: Nancy Pelosi ‘happy as hell’ with GOP chaos, Van Drew says
FIRST ON FOX: New Jersey Republican Rep.-elect Jeff Van Drew told Fox News Digital that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is 'happy as hell' with the chaos surrounding the GOP speaker chaos.
Van Drew told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that he has seen Pelosi around the floor as the Republican caucus struggles to elect House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy of California as speaker of the House.
The New Jersey Republican, who used to be a Democrat, said Pelosi has been on the floor with her blue colleagues and is 'happy as hell' about the chaos.
Van Drew said he and other Republicans are frustrated with the lack of progress with electing a speaker as the GOP has the potential to pass initiatives that are meaningful and important to the American people.
The Garden State Republican also said that McCarthy addressed some of the holdouts demands during a GOP conference meeting — including committee and subcommittee assignments and chair positions in the GOP majority.
The holdouts’ demands for committee and subcommittee assignments is not a common occurrence, and doesn’t ultimately come down to the speaker’s choice, but rather the House Steering Committee that the speaker chairs.
Pelosi’s post-speaker happiness comes as Republicans struggle to elect her successor and bring the chamber under GOP control.
The GOP holdouts are members of the larger House Freedom Caucus who have been backing their own nominees, the latest being Florida GOP Rep.-elect Byron Donalds who received 20 votes.
Pro-McCarthy Republicans have been putting the pressure on the 'Never Kevin' crowd, but there has been little movement toward a McCarthy speakership.
Both sides are dug in, but two who started in the McCarthy camp — Donalds and Rep.-elect Victoria Spartz of Indiana — have stepped away to vote for Donalds and vote present, respectively.
Democrats, meanwhile, have been in lockstep behind Democrat Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., who they have boisterous nominated for speaker.
McCarthy can only afford to lose four votes, meaning he will have to gain ground with at least 16 of the party holdouts.
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