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CNN Live Event/Special
Right Now: Nominating Speeches For Second Speaker Vote; Second Vote For House Speaker Underway; Jordan Does Not Appear To Have Votes For Speaker. Aired 12-12:30p ET
Aired October 18, 2023 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
REP. TOM COLE (R-OK): No president of either side has been willing to deal with this. No speaker of either side has been willing to deal with this. My friend, our former colleague John Delaney and I offered plan. I still follow every year. John is not here anymore.
If you go back and do in 1983 what we did then and address social security, we never can get any help. This is a guy that wants to create a debt commission, a bipartisan debt commission and get at the roots of our spending problem, that takes courage. And Republicans ought to support somebody with that kind of courage.
Now, he's not only focused on one thing I don't know anybody has done more to highlight and talk about the border disaster that is underway right now as we speak. You know, I had the privilege of serving here when Jeh Johnson was Secretary of Homeland Security. I have a very high opinion from Jeh Johnson, and I think he's one of the finest public servants I've ever met.
And he was asked on one occasion to define what was the crisis on the southern border. And he said, anytime you have more than a thousand illegal entries a day, you have a crisis. We have 10 or 11 times that every single day. And in that tide of humanity that's coming across, there is a boatload of fentanyl, coming to kill tens of thousands of all of our constituents.
There are human traffickers, who are taking advantage of young men and young women, and frankly, predators in our own country. And they're bringing them across, not by the tens or the twenties, or the dozens, but by the hundreds and the thousands.
There are amongst that flow of people, people that wish us ill, people who are not fleeing from oppression, people who are terrorists, or criminals that are coming into our country for no good reason. Now, that is not an immigration problem. That's a border security problem. They are not the same thing.
We can debate immigration, that's a worthy debate. We should never have to debate border security. Nobody's highlighted that issue. Like my friend, Jim Jordan. Nobody's done more as a committee chairman to move legislation that would meaningfully deal with this problem.
And this, my friends on both sides of the aisle, but with all due respect, particularly this administration, and my friends on the other side, need to look at this. You need to look at this seriously. Don't confuse it with immigration. The feeling going to have immigration reform until we have border security, cannot be done. This has been the number one champion of that. It's one of the number one issues that we have.
Finally, I want to talk about something that can bring us together. There are a lot of things we disagree on, legitimately so. Most of us do not disagree about the security of the state of Israel. All of us. All of us on both sides of the aisle, reacted with horror.
And with deep sympathy, and with legitimate outrage at the crime that was perpetrated against the people of Israel in the last week. All of us. And all of us know that they are within their rights to respond forcefully and swiftly to defend their people and punish those who brought that upon them.
So, in a moment of crisis, and we are in a moment of crisis, we should come together and act. And we know we can't do that without a speaker of the House. Now it's a narrow majority, but my friends and I are in the majority. And we need to produce a speaker. We have a candidate who we know where he will stand on issues that are important.
We know he's going to stand on spending because it's where he's always stood. Not like he's changed over the course of his career. I know what he's going to do on the border. I've read HR too. I've seen what his committee produced. And it's not just money, it's policy and change that will provide security for the American people.
And finally, and I say this on a bipartisan basis. I know he will stand up for Israel and I know in that area, we can come together. That crisis is on us now. We may get a request almost anytime to act. We need to be able to act. My friend will act on that crisis. He's shown his solo career.
So, it's with a great deal of pride that I have the privilege of nominating my friend, our chairman of the Judiciary Committee, but a person whose principles you know, whose actions you can trust and who in a time of crisis will respond with the leadership we need, Jim Jordan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The chair now recognize is the gentleman from California, Mr. Aguilar.
REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): Mr. Speaker pro tem, I rise today at the direction of the House Democratic Caucus to place into nomination for the position of speaker of the House of Representatives, the Honorable Hakeem Jeffries of New York.
Here we are again, Mr. Speaker. And I promised to make these speeches shorter if we get closer to a compromise, but I'm not certain that that's going to happen at this moment. While the Republican candidate for speaker is making late night backroom deals to secure the gavel. Leader Jeffries has once again extended the hand of bipartisanship for a path forward.
One thing was very clear yesterday. The vote total 220, 212, to 200. The people's House has spoken, and leader Jeffries has the support to be speaker that this country needs. Mr. Speaker, 212 to 200. No amount of election denying is going to take away from those vote totals.
We send Mr. Speaker pro tem, we shouldn't be surprised at the vote count. I noted yesterday the legislative acumen of the gentleman from Ohio. Would it surprise anyone then in addition to not passing a single piece of legislation. He's never put a piece of legislation that has made it to a committee.
The Speaker of the House must be a legislator. And the gentleman from Ohio falls short in that regard. He supports an extreme agenda and is hell bent on banning abortion nationwide, gutting Medicare, gutting Social Security and giving cover to January 6 attackers. Those aren't the values that we share.
If we don't see a speaker elected in this round, there's going to be another candidate and another internal Republican conference vote and a secret ballot, and the country can't afford more delays and more chaos. 15 days should be enough.
House Democrats are united on this path forward. We're united behind Hakeem Jeffries. United to put people over politics and united to lower costs, create better paying jobs, build safer communities and defend democracy. And once again, we're coming together to achieve this common goal and that is to make Hakeem Jeffries speaker of the House of Representatives.
Almost, almost Mr. Speaker pro tem, Hakeem Jeffries has done what we haven't seen from the other side of the aisle, and that is to keep a caucus united. When extreme MAGA Republicans vowed to send our country into a devastating default, it was Leader Jeffries, who led House Democrats to reject the extremism and keep the government open.
Mr. Speaker pro tem, we have the vote totals to back that up. It has been Leader Jeffries in House Democrats who have shown a willingness and a conviction to keep our promise to deliver for American families. And it will be Hakeem Jeffries who will move our body and our country forward on a bipartisan path.
Who on the other side of the aisle Mr. Speaker pro tem will take yes for an answer and work with us to achieve three common goals. And my colleague and good friend, the gentleman from Oklahoma, mentioned one of them, supporting assistance to Israel. But what he left out was assistance to Ukraine and our national security objectives. Second, above all else, we must commit to keep this government open and functioning.
And finally, Mr. Speaker pro tem, we need to put this body on a bipartisan path to achieve real results for the American public. That is what we were sent to do. That is what we need to do. That is why Hakeem Jeffries is the leader we need at this time to lead this chamber. I'd like to nominate Hakeem Jeffries the speaker of the House. I yield back.
REP. PATRICK MCHENRY (R-NC): No further nominations. The reading clerk will now call the roll.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Adams, Jeffries, Aderholt, Jordan, Aguilar, Jeffries Alford, Jordan, Allen, Jordan, Allred, Jeffries, Amodei, Jordan, Armstrong, Jordan, Arrington, Jordan, Auchincloss, Jeffries, Babin, Jordan, Bacon, McCarthy.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: So, with that vote from House Republican Don Bacon in favor of Kevin McCarthy, which is essentially a no vote for Jim Jordan. We start to take note of the votes against Jim Jordan. Remember he can only afford three House Republicans voting against him. We have a few in the beads that we're going to keep an eye on.
The next one that we're going to keep an eye on is Vern Buchanan of Florida. He voted for Jordan yesterday, but he slip, he might peel away. Also, Ken Buck of Colorado. So those are the ones that we're keeping an eye on in the bees.
We anticipate that Congressman Jordan will not be able to get the 217 votes he needs today. So, it's 217 or 216, David Chalian, that we need today 217 -- -
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: There are the 217 because I think he only afford to lose three though, because I think one Democrat is missing that maybe -- -
TAPPER: And he can't lose more than three because three against him is fine, four is not. So, let's listen in. The next one that we're going to be paying attention to is Vern Buchanan, which comes in a few votes, again Vern Buchanan of Florida voted for Jordan yesterday.
But we anticipate that there are going to be a few Republicans who voted for Jordan yesterday in a show of spirit. But now are going to start voting against him that he's going to start to lose votes in this second ballot. So, let's listen in Buchanan and Buck are the next two that were really have our ears peeled. ears peeled for. Let's listen in that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jeffries, Boebert, Jordan, Bonamici, Jeffries, Bost, Jordan, Bowman, Jeffries, Boyle of Pennsylvania, Jefferies, Yakym (Ph), Jordan, Brown, Jeffries, Brownley, Jeffries, (Inaudible), Donalds, Buck, Emmer.
TAPPER: All right. So, that is three no votes essentially for Jim Jordan from House Republicans because we have Don Bacon of Nebraska voting for McCarthy. And then we have Vern Buchanan of Florida voting for Byron Donalds, his follow Floridian, and then Ken Buck of Colorado voting again for Tom Emmer. That is three no votes. He lost a vote there because Vern Buchanan voted for Jim Jordan yesterday.
So again, this is as of now worse for him than it was yesterday. He could still pick up votes. It's possible that people who voted against him yesterday will vote for him. And again, you know, none of these votes are final until the gavel comes down. People change their votes, even after they have voted no, they might change to yes. After they vote, yes, they might change to no.
But as of right now, if I were Jim Jordan, I would be feeling worse. But the next names we're going to be looking for in the seas were in the crustiest right now are Chavez-DeRemer from Oregon, she voted for McCarthy yesterday. She's in a Biden district of Republican in a Biden district. Lot of Republicans in Biden districts think that Jordan is just a little too toxic for her -- for their voters. And then, so let's listen in to see what Congressman Chavez-DeRemer has to say.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Carter of Texas, Jordan, Cartwright, Jeffries, Casar, Jeffries, Case, Jeffries, Casten, Jeffries, Castor of Florida, Jeffries, Castro of Texas, Jeffries, Chavez-DeRemer, McCarthy.
TAPPER: I know you have it assuming none of these individuals switch their votes. Jim Jordan, with that fourth vote against him from his fellow House Republicans has lost the speakership. He could not afford to lose more than three. He's now lost four, again, with the caveat that people switch their votes. But as of right now, if I were Jim Jordan, he is doing worse than he did yesterday.
We'll be looking next, Congressman D'Esposito of New York, and Congressman Diaz-Balart. But Kasie Hunt, once again, I'm kind of confused as to why Congressman Jim Jordan yesterday and then again today felt the need to call this vote, given that he did not have the 217 votes sewn up. And yet, I guess in some sort of show of force, which force that he did not have, he decided that he wanted to force the issue.
KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: You know, Jake, I've just sort of resigned myself to being in a state of permanent confusion about what's going on in the House. I've covered it for decades. And this is -- we've never seen this before. So, we're just in territory that is, you know, it's hard to understand. It's hard to explain the people that are involved on actually know what's going on right now.
And so, we just, I think, have to follow along with it the same as they are and take it as it comes. I think that the strategy that Jordan was using, you know, people, critics of his but behind the scenes have, you know, call him a bully. They say his tactics are bullying. And, you know, making a public show is one way to do that.
It's basically forcing people to put their money where their mouth is, you know, say put on the record where they are. Kevin McCarthy obviously found this strategy to be effective for him. In the end, he wore people down. McCarthy has been in Jordan's camp. He has been publicly encouraging Jordan to just go to the floor and keep going and keep going and keep going until the opposition wears down.
But McCarthy never faced, what it looks like Jordan is about to face here, which is that every time McCarthy took another vote, it was the same or better than the vote before until he only had a handful of holdouts. And this is worse for Jordan.
So, this is why suddenly, there are conversations going on about possibly trying to empower Patrick McHenry, the man sitting on the desk right now, who is viewed as something of a consensus pick somebody that, you know, there are conversations going on among Democrats about what to do to try to get the House of Representatives to a place where they can pass aid to Israel, pass aid to Ukraine, keep the government open, you know, past Thanksgiving, and just do the very basic things of governance.
That that's part of a -- that's a live part of the conversation today. So, yes, I don't blame you for being confused. It's the bottom line.
TAPPER: It is, it isn't an odd, odd maneuver by Congressman Jordan to force these votes when he's potentially even less popular today than he was yesterday.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: He says it's its nature to be a fighter. And, you know, after one round, he probably figured he had to at least show that he needed another round. But what, you know, Kasie was talking about McCarthy. What McCarthy had that Jordan -- -
TAPPER: I'm sorry to interrupt. I want to listen to just D'Esposito, the D'Esposito coming up (Ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Deluzio, Jeffries, DeSaulnier, Jeffries, DesJarlais, Jordan, D'Esposito, Zeldin, Diaz-Balart, Scalise.
TAPPER: So, that's a six votes from House Republicans against Jim Jordan. Again, this is proceeding worse for Jim Jordan than it did yesterday. We're going to hear from Congressman Jake Ellzey of Texas in a second. Not a fan of government shutdowns, a big conservative Republican but not a fan of shutdowns. And he did not vote for Jordan either yesterday, I think on the shutdown issue. Let's listen in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jordan, Edwards, Jordan, Ellzey, Mike Garcia.
TAPPER: So, that's a seventh vote against Jim Jordan. Gloria, go ahead.
BORGER: You know, what I was saying about the difference between McCarthy and Jordan is that McCarthy had a lot of built-up goodwill. He had spent years fundraising for people, recruiting people to run for Congress, negotiating with people, putting people on committees.
And there was a sense of loyalty to McCarthy that wasn't strong enough the second time. But there was that sense that he could go many rounds and eventually wear people down. With Jordan, it worked in the other direction.
I mean, we have Vern Buchanan of Florida, which is a flip from Tuesday. And you're going to see more flips, I think, from people who feel that, you know, if he's going to lose, I'm not going to be with him and take that political risk, particularly if you're among those more moderate Republicans. I mean, yesterday, he lost a half dozen of them. We'll see if he loses more today.
TAPPER: Yes. Let me bring in former House Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger. And Congressman Kinzinger before I invite you to bury Congressman Jordan. I wonder what you think about the passionate speech. You heard from Republican Congressman Tom Cole, in which he praised Congressman Jordan as a man of ethics and principle said you always knew where he stood on issues, called him a man of integrity. Is that the Jim Jordan, you know?
ADAM KINZINGER, (R) FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, ILLINOIS, CNN COMMENTATOR: No, it's not. And look, it was disappointing because I know Tom Cole well. Tom Cole and institutional list, a pretty normal guy. I'm not sure why he took up the mantle of nominating Jim Jordan because trust me, he doesn't like Jim Jordan unless something changed in the last year.
So, it was disappointing to me, but it was not as bad as Elise Stefanik basically calling Jim Jordan the Moses of our time. So, at least, you know, there wasn't that in that process. So, look, this is a -- it's an interesting day, I was remembering something Jake that I totally forgotten.
When I was elected as a freshman, I actually was the nominator. I nominated Jim Jordan for the Republican Study Committee for that position and very quickly within two months I resigned from that position because I realized what they were actually doing. It's amazing to me to watch just kind of how far he's fallen. And somebody earlier was talking about his like lack of goodwill built up.
This is a guy that has worked against almost everybody on the floor there at one point or another to either defeat them in a primary or make sure that their bills don't get passed. So, I'm pretty amazed, he's only lost 20. And I'm shocked he's still doing the second round.
TAPPER: Let's listen and we're about to hear another no, I think.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mike Garcia, Jordan, Robert Garcia, Jeffries, Garcia of Illinois, Jeffries, Garcia of Texas, Jeffries, Gimenez, McCarthy, Golden of Maine.
TAPPER: We're going to listen in to see who Congressman Tony Gonzales votes for.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New York, Jeffries, Gomez, Jeffries, Tony Gonzales, Scalise.
TAPPER: 11 votes against Congressman Jordan. Again, he's doing worse now than he did yesterday. And let me throw it to my colleague, Dana Bash.
DANA BASH, CNN HOST, INSIDE POLITICS: Thanks, Jake. And as we continue to listen, you're right, he is doing worse. And what is noteworthy is that, you know, when you look back at the only other time that we've covered anything close to this, which is in January, when Kevin McCarthy did this 15 times. He didn't go down. He didn't get worse. He got better or he stayed the same. And that is certainly not where Jim Jordan is right now.
So, what is happening on the House floor right now, as the reality is there, Jim Jordan will not become speaker in this vote. It is what's next. And we had been talking earlier about these very real conversations going on about giving Patrick McHenry who was the temporary speaker, more power. And as these conversations have become more and more public, I am told that the opposition, particularly from the right inside the conference has become more loud, stronger.
And I had just one text from somebody who wants this to happen eventually, who said we should be cautious. Because the quote was timing is everything in politics. And forgive me, I'm outside the Capitol, there's obviously law enforcement going behind me. But the timing is everything in politics. And the timing may not be right yet, for that to happen.
And the reason is because the House Republicans are quite split on this, because Republicans in order to give Patrick McHenry more power in order to get the basic business and functions of the government done. They'll need Democratic support. And that is a very divisive notion inside the House Republican Conference.
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. The idea that you would have the majority in the House, and then have essentially a coalition government with Democrats. To have to run it, is not something that a lot of Republicans in the House or a lot of Republican voters want to have happen. But that's where the eight people who overthrew Kevin McCarthy have put the Republican Party, a majority party in numbers, but not a majority party in function.
And so, functionally, right now, because of the close nature of the House and these eight people, it's hard to argue that the Republicans have a functioning majority. And so, if you're a Republican voter out there a donor, or you know, somebody who just wants to see Republicans do well.
You have to be incredibly disappointed. But that's what it might come to now, the larger American people may look at this and say, well, maybe they should work together a little bit. And, you know, if you just watched us on television today, for the second straight day, saying that they just sit around and say each other's names all day. What are they going to do something for me? And so, I think it's in everyone's best interest to get a resolution of some kind.
BASH: Well, when you say it's hard to argue that Republicans don't have a functioning majority. That's just a fact. They do not have a functional majority. This is 15 days in and there is no speaker who has the power to do really basic things like, I don't know, fund the government, give the aid that the president is asking for. Let's listen to some of the other votes coming out.