There’s one significant difference in the relationship House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA.) has with House Minority Leader Haakem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) compared to the relationship McCarthy had with former Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA.).
The primary difference is that there is a relationship between Jeffries and McCarthy.
During her helm with the Speaker’s gavel, Pelosi called McCarthy a “moron,” with McCarthy hitting back at the comments privately, asserting that it would be hard for him to stop himself from hitting Pelosi on the head with gavel during the handover.
House Republicans also felt sidelined during Pelosi’s tenure, saying that they were kept out of the loop on many legislation negotiations and primary negotiations.
But with McCarthy wielding the gavel and Jeffries taking over Pelosi’s role as Democrat leader, the two men are consistently seen huddling away from the House floor.
Another noticeable change in Republicans’ attitude toward the House Democrat leader is gratitude. On more than one occasion, Republicans, including McCarthy, have publicly thanked Jeffries for working with them on various issues.
Republican Rep. Garrett Graves (LA.) acknowledged that Jeffries and McCarthy didn’t have a relationship akin to best friends but noted that McCarthy would return Jeffries’ calls — unlike the norm with Pelosi.
Chairwoman of the House GOP conference, Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), described the relationship between McCarthy and Jeffries as “very positive.”
Democratic Rep. Ann Kuster (N.H.), the head of the New Democratic Coalition, a center-left conference, noted the “very professional” relationship between Jeffries and McCarthy is “good for Congress and the country.”