During a heated and contentious vote on Tuesday, one of the House of Representatives’ more aggressive and outspoken members faced vocal disapproval and interruptions.
Elected officials from various parts of the country convened in the House Chambers for a critical floor vote to select a new Speaker of the House. The intense competition featured Republican Representative Jim Jordan from Ohio and Democratic Representative Hakeem Jeffries from New York. The drama of this initial vote was prominently captured in a C-SPAN video.
Most representatives aligned with their respective party lines during the vote. However, the key obstacle preventing the election of a new Speaker was a handful of Republicans who refused to endorse Jordan.
Given this context, it was no surprise that when Representative Maxine Waters from California cast her vote, she expressed her support for Jeffries. However, Waters, known for her impulsive remarks, couldn’t resist taking an unprovoked dig at Jordan. Her comment was met with a resounding chorus of boos and jeers.
While it’s challenging to discern the exact words from the video, Waters appeared to reference Jordan as an “insurrectionist” before the audience’s disapproval drowned her out. According to Politico’s Olivia Beavers, Jordan responded with little more than a smirk, and another House Republican promptly retorted with a biting insult, asking, “Huh? What did the communists say?” Other reporters confirmed this tense exchange.
Although Waters may take verbal jabs at her opponents on a broader scale, it seems unlikely that Jeffries can surpass Jordan in the GOP-controlled House. Achieving this would require every single Democrat to vote for Jeffries, along with at least five Republicans, which appears highly improbable, considering the current division within the GOP. Voting for a Democrat would be seen as a career-damaging decision by most Republican representatives.
As of early Tuesday afternoon, Jordan still lacked the 217 votes necessary to secure the speakership. Nevertheless, he gradually garnered support from the remaining Republicans who had not endorsed him.