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Now that Kevin McCarthy has dropped out of the running to be Speaker John Boehner’s replacement, and given the lack of any clear alternative (who actually wants the job?), some are floating the the idea of a coalition:
One crossover vote — from one member, in one election — does not a precedent make. But Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA) nonetheless told CNN minutes after McCarthy withdrew, to elect the next Speaker “we [may] have to assemble a bipartisan coalition, that’s the reality of this place.”
Moderate Republicans would join with Democrats to elect a speaker. It’s unprecedented in modern history in the House, but it’s happened at the state level before. (It happened in the New York State Senate a few years ago, and I’ve read that it happened in Texas, but I don’t know the details. I’m sure there are other examples).
There are currently 188 Democrats in the House. If they all voted together, it would only take 30 Republicans to get the 218 votes necessary to elect a speaker.
Improbable? Yes. But it’s been a very weird year.
Suppose that happened: If 30 or more moderate Republicans (possibly even members of the “establishment”) joined with the Democrats to form a coalition, what would your reaction be?