Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, referring to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as being "very weak," on Sunday and said she would "absolutely" vote for Rep. Matt Gaetz's motion to vacate and oust the California Republican from his seat.
"I think Kevin McCarthy is a very weak speaker," the New York Republican told CNN's "State of the Union" anchor Jake Tapper. "He clearly has lost control of his caucus. He has brought the United States and millions of Americans to the brink [by] waiting until the final hour to keep the government open and even then only issuing a 45-day extension. So we're going to be right back in this place in November."
Ocasio-Cortez, like other chamber Democrats except for Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., voted to pass McCarthy's 45-day continuing resolution to keep the government open, and said Sunday that the chambers's main priority "has to be the American people and what's going to keep our governance in a cohesive and strong place."
However, the progressive congresswoman appeared to leave an opening for further negotiations if McCarthy sought help from her party, but still said that she doesn't "think we give something away for free."
"My vote at the beginning of this term for Speaker of the House was for Hakeem Jeffries, and I do not intend on voting for a Republican Speaker of the House," Ocasio-Cortez added. "But I believe that it's up to the Republican conference to determine their own leadership and deal with their own problems. But it's not up to Democrats to save Republicans, from themselves especially."
Meanwhile, if there is a power-sharing agreement between the parties for Democrats to save McCarthy's speakership, she said that would be discussed as a caucus, but said a pact would come at a price.
"You don't just vote for a Republican speaker for nothing," she said. "That's not what we were elected here to do."
On a potential 50-50 power-sharing agreement between parties in exchange for Democrats' support to save his speakership, as suggested by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., the New York Democrat said, "When it comes to power-sharing, we will discuss that as a caucus and what we would finally accept or not, but again, it's going to, it comes at a price. You don't just vote for a Republican speaker for nothing. That's not what we were elected here to do. We were elected here to make sure that we raise the minimum wage to a living wage, to make sure that we cap the prices of prescription drugs, and to make sure that we work for working-class Americans."
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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