WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) today released the following statement on the current crisis of GOP chaos and dysfunction in the House of Representatives.  

After Kevin McCarthy finally won the Speakership of the House of Representatives in January of this year after 15 separate ballots and a week-long national ordeal of Republican division and chaos, he led the GOP Caucus in changing House rules to allow a single Member to move to vacate the Chair and remove the Speaker. 

All but one House Republican voted to support this fateful Rules change, which was obviously calculated to empower the most extreme and authoritarian fanatics in the institution. 

Every single Democrat voted to oppose it. 

Speaker Kevin McCarthy may now be toppled by the Rules change that he pushed through the House on a partisan basis. 

Perhaps that obvious folly now tastes to McCarthy like the bitter fruit of his own surrender and conversion to MAGA extremism and the personality cult of former President Donald Trump, a process that has brought the House to absolute chaos and dysfunction. 

In January, I came to the House floor every day and night for a week when I had been diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma and was undergoing chemotherapy, all in order to vote 15 separate times for Hakeem Jeffries as Speaker of the House.  

After nine months of working with Minority Leader Jeffries and observing his high character, his unflappable demeanor, his complete trustworthiness, his deep integrity, his remarkable efficiency and his overriding commitment to the common good of the American people, I am more convinced than ever that he is precisely the Speaker we need right now to end the GOP reign of error and to move America beyond the continuing Machiavellian games played by Kevin McCarthy, Representative Matt Gaetz and other GOP Members on everything from the national budget to the debts of the country to American support for the people of Ukraine.  

Hakeem Jeffries is the leader we need in the House to move forward. He will end the chaos to support the people of Ukraine in their war of just self-defense against Putin’s filthy atrocity-filled invasion; to defend democracy and freedom at home and abroad; to invest in American infrastructure and health; and to make American government and the U.S. Congress work for the people of our country. 

I would vote for Hakeem Jeffries not just 15 times but 15,000 times—unless he asked me to do something different.  

As I survey the wreckage of Republican misrule this year and the consequences of the Republican leadership team’s abject capitulation to Donald Trump’s authoritarian ambitions and deranged follies, I cannot help but reflect on McCarthy’s multiple betrayals of this institution, American democracy, and our Constitution: 

 ** On January 6, 2021, McCarthy endorsed Donald Trump’s Big Lie and voted not to certify the lawful electoral college votes submitted by the Governors of Arizona and Pennsylvania.   

** Although he himself called Donald Trump and begged him to call off his insurrectionary mob in the middle of the violent storming of the Capitol on January 6th, McCarthy decided not to join the majority of the House, including ten Republicans (among them Liz Cheney, the then-leader of the Republican Conference), in calling Trump to account for his offenses, but instead went to Mar-a-Lago to kiss the ring and voted not to impeach Donald Trump for inciting a violent insurrection against the 2020 presidential election and our government. 

** Under pressure to do something about the violence that overran the Congress and endangered the then-Vice President on January 6, 2021, McCarthy introduced the idea of an outside and independent investigative Commission, made up of five Republicans and five Democrats and equal subpoena and staffing powers, to investigate the terrifying and historic attack on our democracy. U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security then-Chairman Bennie Thompson agreed with McCarthy on behalf of the Democrats, but then McCarthy pulled the plug on his own idea when Donald Trump told him to oppose any investigation at all. When then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi was forced to create a House Select Committee to investigate the January 6th assault, McCarthy opposed that proposal too and lobbied furiously against it. When it passed, he tried to install the pro-insurrectionist Trump sycophant Representative Jim Jordan on the Committee and did everything he could to sabotage its work. He refused to testify before the Committee when he was subpoenaed, and when the new Congress began this January, he discontinued the Committee’s existence, ending the investigation (and security protection for its members). Amazingly, McCarthy gave a single corporate media entity, Fox News, “exclusive access” to Congressional security tapes so that the company could further promote its farcical conspiracy theories about January 6th to the world.      

** As Speaker, McCarthy has been completely untrustworthy in his dealings with the Minority and the American people. He has not kept his word on numerous major legislative issues, most recently the budget agreement that President Biden and House Democrats reached with him in May which he repeatedly abandoned in favor of a sweeping 30 percent across-the-board cut to nearly all non-defense spending to placate his rampaging right-wing colleagues. Will he keep his word on opposing Putin and supporting the fight of the people of Ukraine for freedom, democracy and national sovereignty, or will it be another sellout? 

** Kevin McCarthy has set sail on a ludicrous Trump-mandated, fishing-expedition “impeachment inquiry” against President Joe Biden on no evidence of impeachable offenses, pandering to the extreme MAGA Right, wasting the time of multiple House Committees and causing deeper polarization and division in the land. 

This is a somber day for America as the chickens come home to roost for Kevin McCarthy. All of his daily sycophantic catering to the extremism of Trump’s MAGA fanatics has produced nothing but chaos and dysfunction in Congress. Right-wing extremists and authoritarians must solve the problems that right-wing extremists and authoritarians create for themselves.

Meantime, Democrats will keep working every day for the common good of all Americans and successful legislation like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act to advance the well-being of our people. 

With complete unity and exceptional leadership, Democrats are clearly the only party capable of governing in the House, and Jeffries is clearly the best candidate for Speaker and for the stability and progress of the institution. The question is not whether McCarthy can find a dozen Democrats or more to “save him” from the MAGA faction he has been appeasing all year. The question is whether there are just six thoughtful Republicans who are ready to do the obvious thing and vote for Hakeem Jeffries for Speaker.  

That is the goal I will be fighting for on the floor in this surprising new process created by GOP chaos. Thanks to everyone for their notes and messages. Hang tough for democracy and freedom in America.