SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — As the U.S. House continues to flounder in getting a speaker chosen, Utah Rep. John Curtis released a video statement today on exactly why the situation is so difficult.

So, first of all, to those of you who keep saying, John, why aren’t you, Speaker? The answer is friends don’t let friends become Speaker.

Rep. John Curtis

Below is a complete transcript of Curtis’ comments:

Let’s talk about the speaker’s race. I’m going to repeat it. You heard me in my last video. Friends don’t let friends become Speaker. It’s a stinky job that I can’t imagine anybody wants.

So, first of all, to those of you who keep saying, John, why aren’t you, Speaker? The answer is friends don’t let friends become Speaker. The next question is why would you vote for Jim Jordan? Or why don’t you vote for Jim Jordan? I want you to know there’s a lot of polarization on Jim Jordan that won’t surprise anybody.

The answer is very simple. When we voted today, we had two choices. We could vote for a Hakeem Jeffries that the Democrats put forward or Jim Jordan that we put forward. Yes, there were other people that cast their vote another way. But it was an easy choice for me between Jim Jordan and Hakeem Jeffries. Not much to think about right there.

The other thing that’s very important to understand that I hear all the time is why won’t you work with some Democrats to get somebody elected as speaker? I even had about four of my Democratic colleagues call me today before the Speaker’s vote and said, “Please work with us to get a Speaker.”

Then guess what? There’s always an asterisk. “Yes, we would want some rules changes. We would want some things to be different if we help who the Speaker is.” I’m not willing to do that.

Some of the rule changes would include how we decide which bills come to the floor, and that’s one of the huge advantages of being in the majority, is being able to control the bills that come to the floor.

Another thing would be who gets to be the chair of a committee is it a Republican or a Democrat? That’s a key important part of being in the majority is we get to chair those committees, the ratios and how many people get to serve on those committees, Republicans or Democrats would change.

Also, a very important part of being part of the majority that Republicans are not willing to give up. Also, let me be very, very clear. If a single Republican went to the Democratic side and said, I need four or five votes, they would lose 200 Republican votes. Republicans are just not in the mood. I don’t care which Republicans how moderate they are almost to a person will not work with any Republican that goes over and selects and gets a couple of Democrat votes.

So if you’re going to the Democrat side for votes, you need every single Democrat and you still need five or six Republicans, which there may be, but I doubt there would even be that many Republicans that would actually support that. So where do we go from here?

We had a vote this morning. It failed. Jim Jordan was not able to get the necessary votes. He came, I believe it was 20 short. I have no doubt he can convince some of those to come over, but I have a serious doubt if he can convince enough of them. I think he needs about 17 of the 20 to come over and support him.

So that’s what’s happening right now in the break between our last vote. In the next vote is Jim and his team are madly working to see if they can bring those votes over. We’ll see if he can. If he doesn’t, we’re back to square one without a Speaker. The drama continues, and which means that they’ll likely be another video with more explanation. Thank you for listening.

U.S. Rep. John Curtis, 10.17.23