Kevin McCarthy allies privately push moderate Democrat to switch parties in House speaker bid

In a sign of the challenges House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is facing to secure enough votes to potentially become the next House Speaker, his allies have been trying to persuade a moderate Democrat to switch parties.
Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar said he received several calls from people close to McCarthy, including a current Republican member.
What was the pitch? "Name your price," Cuellar told ABC News.
ADVERTISEMENT
He said his response was simple, "No thanks."
PHOTO: Democratic U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, who is running for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2022 U.S. midterm election, poses for a photo in Laredo, Texas, October 9, 2019. (Veronica Cardenas/Reuters, FILE )
More
"I mean, they see me as a moderate Democrat, so they think he's probably someone who's going to think about it," Cuellar said when asked why Republicans would call him.
Cuellar said McCarthy did not reach out to him personally.
McCarthy's office said in a statement: "As a standard rule, we do not discuss private conversations between members of Congress. However, Congressman Cuellar is a lifelong Democrat and will remain a Democrat. Point."
MORE: What difference would a Democratic majority in the 51-seat Senate make?
Discussing Republican efforts to get Cuellar to switch parties, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries slammed Republicans for having "nerves" — they wanted it both ways.
"You literally spent millions of dollars mischaracterizing Henry Culler's leadership, then get obliterated by Cuellar and Vicente González and want to run to them and say, 'We need your help,'" Jeffries said.
PHOTO: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is joined by reporters as he arrives at a Republican Representatives Caucus meeting in the US Capitol Building on November 14, 2022 in Washington, D.C. (Anna Moneymaker/ Getty Images).
More
Cuellar is expected to retain its seat in Texas' 28th congressional district, which sits on the Mexican border in the state's southwest. He leads Republican Cassy Garcia by around 22,000 votes.
While votes are still being tallied in several key House elections, Republicans are closing in on a majority. If the GOP gains a majority in the House of Representatives, McCarthy will need 218 votes on the floor in January to secure the position of speaker, the ranking Republican and runner-up in the presidency.
Kevin McCarthy's allies are privately urging the moderate Democrat to switch parties in the House Speaker bid, which originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

Last News

England fans disappointed over draw with USA

Ex-Prosecutor Says 7 Words Should Disqualify Mike Pence From Holding Office Again

Ex-Prosecutor Says 7 Words Should Disqualify Mike Pence From Holding Office Again

Putin requires increased production for war although plants already working several shifts

Putin requires increased production for war although plants already working several shifts

Just like Richard Fierro in Colorado Springs, data shows that 64 unarmed civilians have apprehended the gunman in mass shootings since 2000