If more GOP members quit, we could see a Speaker Hakeem Jeffries before November

The announcement by Rep. Ken Buck that he is leaving Congress sooner rather than later led one Fox News guest to speculate on the fragility of the “wafer-thin Republican majority” in the House of Representatives.

Wall Street Journal Editor-at-Large Gerard Baker imagined a scenario in which Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries becomes speaker, replacing Republican Rep. Mike Johnson as a GOP exodus could mean a shift in the balance of the lower chamber.

Speaking with Fox News host Neil Cavuto on “Your World” Tuesday, Baker suggested Democrats could retake the House by the end of this year if Republicans like Buck continue to retire.

“One, it makes life more complicated for Speaker Mike Johnson and the very, very wafer-thin Republican majority,” Baker weighed in.

“Two, it just absolutely emphasizes the complete Trumpification… the complete Trump takeover of the Republican Party. We’ve seen it with the RNC this week. The very last remaining critics of Donald Trump, the last remaining independent Republicans are bowing out because they see the handwriting on the wall,” he told the Fox News host.

“They really can’t afford to lose anyone,” Cavuto pointed out. “It’s gonna be dicey through the end of the year.”

“I think the possibility of Speaker Hakeem Jeffries sometime between now and January 3rd next year is rising pretty rapidly ’cause there may well be more,” Baker said, echoing the sentiment on social media where many suggested the same.

“You know, the handful of Republicans who really are holdouts against Trump, who really don’t have any time for him may decide to do exactly what Ken Buck’s done and say, you know, ‘I’m getting out first. A, I get a lot of attention, and B, I can do something quicker than hanging around, waiting for the axe to fall,'” Baker said.

“And I think, yeah, as you said, we’re down to two or three. If we have any more shenanigans over government shutdowns or debt limits, all of this kind of stuff, you could well see Johnson’s position being vulnerable,” he added.

Johnson seemed taken off guard by Buck’s announcement.

“And we’re really at the point where Jeffries, another couple of Republican defections or another couple of resignations like that or Republican gets sick or God forbid is unable to perform his or her duties, you could well– Jeffries could just about squeak a speaker vote,” Baker warned.

“That’s amazing,” Cavuto responded. “But you’re right. The math is so close, it’s possible.”

Frieda Powers

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