May 5, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Jeffries: Democrats effectively working as if they control the House

House Minority leader Hakeem Jeffries during his "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday.

House Minority leader Hakeem Jeffries during his "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday. Photo: CBS News/"60 Minutes"

Democrats "effectively have been governing as if we were in the majority" in the House due to Republicans' "chaos," Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said in an interview broadcast Sunday.

Why it matters: House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is expected to face a vote for his ouster in the coming days, driven by a motion from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) — which Democrats have vowed to kill.

  • Johnson's right-wing critics have railed against some of his policy decisions, including to put Ukraine aid on the floor without border language attached, Axios' Juliegrace Brufke reports.
  • Democrats have bailed Johnson out on several bills and Johnson noted difficulties of the GOP's razor-thin majority when he told Axios that the motion to vacate is counterproductive to Republicans' goals.

What they're saying: Jeffries said during his interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" that Democrats had been providing "a majority of the votes necessary to get things done," while "many of my Republican colleagues are more interested in creating chaos, dysfunction, and extremism."

  • He told CBS' Norah O'Donnell that Johnson had not asked Democrats for help and "our view would traditionally be, 'Let the other side work its own mess out.'"
  • But "when that mess starts to impact the ability to do the job on behalf of the American people, then the responsible thing at that moment might be for us to make clear that we will not allow the extremists to throw the Congress and the country into chaos," he added.
  • Representatives for Johnson did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Go deeper: Mike Johnson's short game

Go deeper