‘He is a prop’: Cori Bush diminishes Byron Donalds speakership nod

Congress Eviction Moratorium
Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., cries after it was announced that the Biden administration will enact a targeted nationwide eviction moratorium outside of Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, August 3, 2021. For the past five days, lawmakers and activists primarily led by Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., have been sitting in on the steps of Capitol Hill to protest the expiration of the eviction moratorium. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades) Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/AP

‘He is a prop’: Cori Bush diminishes Byron Donalds speakership nod

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Progressive firebrand Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) derided colleague Rep. Byron Donalds’s (R-FL) nomination for the speakership as “pathetic.”

House Republican rebels nominated Donalds as an alternative to aspiring speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and hailed the move as historic given that there were two black nominees to be speaker Wednesday.

But Bush rejected that notion. She said Donalds is merely a “prop” who perpetuates white supremacy.


“@ByronDonalds is not a historic candidate for Speaker. He is a prop. Despite being Black, he supports a policy agenda intent on upholding and perpetuating white supremacy. His name being in the mix is not progress—it’s pathetic,” she tweeted.


Donalds became the first House Republican to flip during the contentious standoff over the speaker’s gavel that has paralyzed Congress. He voted in favor of McCarthy twice Tuesday and then backed Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), bringing the total number of Republican defectors up to 20.

He has left the door open to returning to McCarthy in the future and explained he flipped after determining McCarthy lacked a pathway.

“For the first time in history, there have been two black Americans placed into the nomination for speaker,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), a prominent GOP opponent of McCarthy’s speakership bid, declared Wednesday when announcing Donalds’s nomination. The second black nominee was House Minority Leader-elect Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

Donalds served as the Republican rebel alternative to McCarthy during three rounds of voting Wednesday.

During the most recent round of voting, McCarthy garnered 201 Republicans in support of his bid. Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN) switched her vote to “present” Wednesday. Donalds amassed 20 votes during each round.

McCarthy’s failure to clinch the gavel marked the first time since 1923 that the first round of voting yielded no speaker.


So far, neither side appears willing to blink in the House GOP standoff. As a result, the new Congress has not been sworn in, and members have not yet been given committee assignments, meaning the business of the lower chamber has been halted.

Votes on the speakership are expected to continue until a breakthrough is reached. Meanwhile, McCarthy has already moved into the speaker’s office.

House Majority Leader-elect Steve Scalise (R-LA) is widely considered an alternative, though it is not clear that he can win the 218 votes that are typically needed to become speaker. Some observers have pondered if Republicans will cut a deal with Democrats to end the stalemate.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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