U.S. Rep. Jared Golden of Maine is one of four centrist Democrats who sent a letter Friday to acting House Speaker Patrick McHenry in support of giving him temporary expanded powers so the House can resume its work.

Election 2022 Maine House

U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

“In light of our nation’s pressing issues, a looming government shutdown, and the attacks on our key ally, Israel, we strongly support an immediate vote to expand the Speaker Pro Tempore’s authorities to allow for the consideration of a legislative agenda limited to the most pressing issues,” the four House members wrote in the letter, provided to the Press Herald by the Blue Dog Coalition, a caucus of centrist Democrats.

The U.S. House has been paralyzed since former Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted from that post last week. Late Friday afternoon, Republican House members nominated Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio to become the new speaker.

Expanded authorities, granted in 15-day increments, would allow McHenry to bring forward bills in three specific areas: emergency foreign aid to Ukraine and Israel; an extension of the current continuing resolution through Jan. 11 to prevent a government shutdown; and consideration of remaining fiscal 2024 appropriations bills.

Golden didn’t respond to requests from the Press Herald for an interview or written comment on the letter. The Blue Dog Coalition issued the following statement:

“A bipartisan majority of lawmakers needs to step up, work together and address urgent issues facing our country,” the statement said. “This is a time for courage and creativity by members of both parties, and a time for civic-minded Americans to put aside their cynicism and pessimism about what is possible in the people’s House.”


The coalition concluded that “a stable, bipartisan governing arrangement is the most viable path forward for the U.S. House after nine months of instability and the last ten days of chaos.”

In addition to Golden, the letter is signed by Democratic Reps. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Ed Case of Hawaii and Susie Lee of Nevada, who are leaders of the Problem Solvers Caucus.

In nominating Jordan, Republicans put the gavel within reach of a staunch ally of their party’s presidential front-runner, Donald Trump.

But now, Jordan must unite a deeply divided Republican House majority before a floor vote on his nomination, which could be pushed to next week, The Associated Press reported.

House Republicans have been fighting for more than a week over who should lead them going forward. The next government funding deadline is Nov. 17.

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