Finding Republican Partners
Call now! Help build a bipartisan coalition to elect a new Speaker.
Feathers of Hope is a network of ordinary citizens committed to advocating for the removal and replacement of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House, thereby diminishing the power and influence of MAGA extremists in the chamber.
We have been urging moderate Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives to form a temporary bipartisan majority voting bloc for the purpose of passing a motion to “vacate the chair” and elect a new Republican Speaker who owes nothing to the minority MAGA group.
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“The need to change course is urgent.”
—Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)
Scroll to the bottom of this post to find contact information for 23 Republicans. Call one, several or all of them. Encourage them to break with MAGA extremism, and join us to find common ground for the people, electing a Speaker with bipartisan support.
On this Monday morning, October 16, the House of Representatives is still without a Speaker. The majority party, who traditionally has responsibility for electing a Speaker, is effectively paralyzed. More accurately, it is being held hostage by a cadre of MAGA extremists. Unlike the minority Democratic Party, Republicans are bitterly divided, unable to unite behind a single nominee.
While minority leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) enjoys unanimous support of his Democratic conference, Republican Jim Jordan was opposed by more than 50 of his colleagues in a secret ballot last week, and stands no chance of becoming Speaker.
In a recent Washington Post column, Mr. Jeffries explained how this stalemate can be broken. It’s really quite simple:
“House Democrats remain committed to a bipartisan path forward, as we have repeatedly demonstrated throughout this Congress.
At this point, we simply need Republican partners willing to break with MAGA extremism, reform the highly partisan House rules that were adopted at the beginning of this Congress and join us in finding common ground for the people.”
In simple terms, this means that if a bipartisan majority of willing Republicans and Democrats can agree on a consensus nominee, a new Speaker can be elected. The business of the People’s House can resume under leadership free of the MAGA faction’s extremist demands.
What stands in the way?
The only impediment to Mr. Jeffries’ proposed path forward is the natural reluctance of loyal Republicans, and loyal Democrats as well, to reach across the aisle and find common ground.
We’ve become so accustomed to notions of polarization that the idea of having any common interest seems utterly foreign. And yet, it takes only a moment of reflection to recognize that true conservatives, progressive/liberals and moderates of both parties all profess faith in the institutions of our democratic republic. Whatever our differences on policy issues, it is within the chambers of our Congress that these differences are debated and legislation for the common good is passed.
MAGA insurrectionists on the other hand, assaulted our Capitol on January 6, 2021. And their champions within the House are now committed to obstruction and disruption, rather than to governing. Without apology, they hoped to engineer a default on our national debt last Spring. A few weeks ago, they refused to pass essential funding bills in an attempt to shut down the government. It’s no exaggeration to say that they do not share our veneration for the People’s House and its orderly functioning. As former Speaker Kevin McCarthy noted, “They want to burn the whole place down.”
The math is simple, but the solution is not.
There are currently 433 Representatives in the House (2 vacancies).
221 are Republicans, 212 are Democrats. A clear majority is 217.
It’s tempting to conclude that the problem of electing a new Speaker can be solved by merely attracting 5 Republicans to vote with 212 Democrats. However, that’s an illusion. 212 Democrats will unanimously vote for Leader Jeffries. But were 5 Republicans to join them, the Speakership would suddenly be in the hands of the minority party. Not only would that subject the 5 to severe sanctions from their party, it would be contrary to the traditions of the House, as established over a history of more than 230 years. It would constitute an unprecedented power grab, rather than a sincere effort to form a bipartisan governing majority.
Only a Republican Speaker can lead a bipartisan majority.
Divisions in the Republican Party described above have given Democrats decisive leverage, But in practice, agreeing on a consensus Speaker will require both Republicans and Democrats to overcome their natural reluctance to support the opposition. Moderate Republicans will have to break with MAGA extremism and join with Democrats, and Democrats will have to support a moderate Republican for Speaker. There is no other path forward. But once that path is taken, power will be returned to the majority of House members and legislation that has bipartisan support can be brought to the floor and passed. Under current rules, that has not been possible. And significantly, MAGA extremists will be handed a stinging defeat.
What can we do to help?
As discussed above, it’s only the natural reluctance of politicians to reach across the aisle that stands in the way. On the Democratic side, there is little dissension in the ranks and we can count on Mr. Jeffries to provide the requisite number of votes for a Republican candidate. Our task then is to encourage non-MAGA Republicans to join with Democrats in this cross-party alliance. What’s most needed in this moment is a display of broad public support for normal governance. We the people need to raise our voices, urge our representatives to be bold and defend the institution in which they serve.
There are now over 550 members of our network. Imagine the effect of hundreds of phone calls coming into the offices of our potential Republican partners in a bipartisan governing coalition. This is why our network exists. This is what we’ve been preparing for since January. Call one, some or all of the members listed below. Urge them to elect a non-MAGA Republican Speaker.
Fortunately, we are not asking that Republicans vote against their own party, only that they vote against extremism. And we are not alone in making this request. There is a growing preference among highly respected and influential traditional Republicans for finding a consensus Speaker supported by a bipartisan majority. Former Air Force General Don Bacon (R-NE), who has a long history of working across the aisle to craft legislation, publicly endorsed the idea late last week. It’s inconceivable that he would have made that declaration unless negotiations to accomplish it are already underway.
Call these Republicans now. Urge them to join the bipartisan coalition to elect a Speaker free from MAGA.
We at Feathers of Hope have carefully chosen the following Republican representatives to call, as they represent districts where MAGA is not a dominant force. That’s important since they have less to fear from a primary challenge. When calling, be sure to be polite and to the point. Each of us has our own approach, but it’s always a good practice to praise the member’s fidelity to the norms and traditions of the House. If it feels right, I sometimes mention that I’m a Democrat who values bipartisanship at this time. We’re trying to nourish an atmosphere of cooperation.
Don Bacon (R-NE-02): (202) 225-4155 D.C. or (402) 938-0300 District
Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01): (202) 225-4276 D.C. or (215) 579-8102 District
Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08): (202) 225-5665 D.C. or (920) 301-4500 District
David Joyce (R- OH-14): (202) 225-5731 D.C. or (440) 352-3939 District
John Curtis (R-UT-03): (202) 225-7751 D.C. or (801) 922-5400 District
Ashley Hinson (R-IA-02): (202) 225-2911 D.C. or (319) 364-2288 District
Andrew Garbarino (R-NY-02) : (202) 225-7896 D.C. or (631) 541-4225 District
Dan Newhouse (R-WA-04): (202) 225-5816 D.C. or (509) 452-3243 District
(The following members represent districts carried by President Biden in 2020)
David Schweikert (R-AZ-01): (202) 225-2190 D.C. or (480) 946-2411 District
Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ-06): (202) 225-2542 D.C. or (520) 459-3115 District
John Duarte (R-CA-13): (202) 225-1947 D.C. or (209)-226-6880 District
David Valadao (R-CA-22): (202) 225-4695 D.C. or (661) 864-7736 District
Mike Garcia (R-CA-27): (202) 225-1956 D.C. or (661) 839-0532 District
Young Kim (R-CA-40): (202) 225-4111 D.C. or (714) 984-2440 District
Michelle Steel (R-CA-45): (202) 225-2415 D.C. or (714) 960-6483 District
Tom Kean (R-NJ-07): (202) 225-5361 D.C. or (908) 547-3307 District
Nick LaLota (R-NY-01): (202) 225-3826 D.C. or (631) 289-1097 District
Anhony D’Esposito (R-NY-04): (202) 225-5516 D.C. or (516) 739-3008 District
Mike Lawler (R-NY-17): (202) 225-6506 D.C. or 845 743-7130 District
Marc Molinaro (R-NY-19): (202) 225-5441 D.C. or (607) 242-0200 District
Brandon Williams (R-NY-22): (202) 225-3701 D.C. or (315) 233-4333 District
Lori Chavezz-DeRemer (R-OR-05): (202) 225-5711 D.C. or (541) 604-3141 District
Jen Kiggans (R-VA-02): (202) 225-4215 D.C. or (757) 364-7650 District
“The House Republicans need to end the GOP Civil War, now. House Democrats have continued to make clear that we are ready, willing and able to find a bipartisan path forward. But we need traditional Republicans to break from the extremists and partner with us.” —Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)
This is a network of ordinary citizens. In a democracy, we exercise our power by raising our voices. To be silent is to be powerless.
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