The Detroit News reported on Thursday that former Michigan congressman Fred Upton (R) is considering an idea in which he would offer Democrats a share of power in the House if they would vote with him and a few other Republicans to elect him as speaker if Republicans are unable to break their impasse over electing Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
The story suggests that Upton may give Democrats an equivalent number of committee seats in exchange for their support.
On Tuesday, when the new Congress convened for the first time since 1923, three ballots failed because a group of far-right Republicans prevented McCarthy from receiving the 218 votes he needed to be elected Speaker. McCarthy has largely cooperated with these Republicans’ demands for changes to House rules that would give them greater authority over the caucus, but this has not been enough to strike an agreement with the holdouts.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries has been nominated as the next House Democratic Leader by a unanimous caucus (D-NY). A compromise Upton candidature would need the support of six Republicans if all Democrats voted in favour of it. Republican Don Bacon of Nebraska has suggested a bipartisan Upton candidature in the event that McCarthy fails to get enough support, but it is uncertain if five other Republicans would join him or whether Democrats would accept the proposal.
Among the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for his participation in encouraging the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, Upton stood out as a longstanding relative moderate Republican who resigned at the conclusion of the previous session. Only Representatives David Valadao (R-CA) and Dan Newhouse (R-WA) remain in office; the others have either resigned or been defeated by Trump-backed primary rivals.
In spite of this, Trump continues to publicly support McCarthy for House Speaker. He looked to back down from his support last night, but he reaffirmed it this morning in a post on his Truth Social site.