The Hill, by Lauren Sforza, October 17, 2023
“A vote today to make the architect of a nationwide abortion ban, a vocal election denier and an insurrection insider to the Speaker of this house would be a terrible message to the country and our allies,” Aguilar said, speaking of Jordan.
“Mr. Speaker, it would send an even more troubling message to our enemies, that the very people who would seek to undermine democracy are rewarded with positions of immense power,” he continued.
He ripped the GOP’s Speaker nominee for putting the country’s national security at risk, for his role in not certifying the 2020 election results and for launching “baseless investigations.” Jordan has been a leading figure in House impeachment probes into President Biden and his son Hunter.
“We’re talking about someone who has spent his entire career trying to hold our country back, putting our national security in danger, attempting government shutdown after government shutdown, wasting taxpayer dollars on baseless investigations with dead ends, authoring the very bill that would ban abortion nationwide without exceptions and inciting violence on this chamber,” Aguilar said.
“Even leaders of his own party have called him a legislative terrorist,” he added.
That monicker was once used by former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to describe Jordan.
Aguilar also took aim at Jordan for voting no on a series of legislative action, including approving natural disaster relief in states after they were ravaged by hurricanes and wildfires. When listing out examples of what legislative action Jordan opposed, some Democrats appeared to join in chorus, saying “he said no” along with Aguilar.
“When the Mississippi River floods devastated the south and communities across state lines needed Congress to act, he said no,” he said. “When our veterans were suffering from disease and dying as a result of their service to our country and Congress passed a bipartisan solution, he said no.”
The California Democrat criticized the House for considering electing a member “who has not passed a single bill in 16 years.”
Aguilar called on the House to find a bipartisan way forward, accusing Republicans of throwing the House into “chaos” by failing to come to a consensus on a new Speaker. He said that they are gathered to vote on a new leader because “this hallowed chamber has been led to a breaking point by two dangerous forces — extremism and partisanship.”
He also urged those on both sides of the aisle to vote for Jeffries.
“Only Hakeem Jeffries can be trusted to keep his word. Only Hakeem Jeffries can lead us out of the chaos and towards the path of governance. It brings me immense pride to nominate our friend the Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries as Speaker,” he said.
Jordan, who narrowly secured the GOP nomination for Speaker in an internal vote last week, failed to clinch the 217 votes necessary on the first ballot. The vote was 200 for Jordan, 212 for Jeffries and 20 for other members. It’s unclear when a second vote might be held.
Watch Rep. Aguilar’s whole speech here: