Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries seem to be developing a warm professional relationship.
Both men have reportedly given each other a heads-up before making critical public statements of each other, according to Punchbowl News. When McCarthy decided to remove Democratic California Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from the Intelligence Committee, Jeffries reportedly alerted him that he would respond with a letter. Likewise, McCarthy reportedly personally told Jeffries that he would respond to the letter.
If true, the seemingly cordial relationship would be a sharp turn from the reportedly icy relationship that McCarthy shared with Pelosi. Both McCarthy and Pelosi made public statements that seemed to express genuine contempt for each other, the LA Times reported. (RELATED: Kevin McCarthy Appears To Make A Joke About Hitting Pelosi)
Pelosi and McCarthy reportedly engaged in a loud argument over the phone after Pelosi rejected McCarthy’s request to place Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana on the Jan. 6 panel, the LA Times noted. McCarthy referred to Pelosi as a “lame duck speaker” and claimed that it would be “hard not to hit her with” the speaker’s gavel if Republicans won back control of the House in 2022.
Jeffries, however, has stated publicly that he would like a good working relationship with McCarthy.
NEW: According to a recent CNN Poll, Hakeem Jeffries has a higher approval than current speaker Kevin McCarthy pic.twitter.com/tWYF9Dv2X3
— VaultedPolitics 🇺🇸 (@VaultedPolitics) January 26, 2023
“Clearly we are going to have strong disagreements at times,” Jeffries said on Meet the Press, “but we can agree to disagree without being disagreeable.”
Jeffries highlighted his relationship with McCarthy while speaking of his willingness to negotiate cutting spending.
“We have a track record that demonstrates our willingness to have common ground,” Jeffries said, according to Bloomberg. “Having a relationship with Speaker McCarthy is the right thing for the American people.”