Rep.-elect Byron Donalds has responded to criticism from fellow Rep.-elect Cori Bush, who said his “being Black” makes him a “prop” in the House speaker race.
Taking to Twitter, Donalds, R-Fla., responded to Bush, D-Missouri, by simply saying: “Nobody asked.” He also encouraged her to challenge his “policies and the outcomes” rather than the color of his skin.
“Don’t be a crab in a barrel” he added.
“FWIW, @ByronDonalds is not a historic candidate for Speaker. He is a prop. Despite being Black, he supports a policy agenda intent on upholding and perpetuating white supremacy,” Bush tweeted Wednesday afternoon.
She also said, “His name being in the mix is not progress—it’s pathetic.”
Donalds fired back: “FWIW, nobody asked @CoriBush her opinion on the matter. Before you judge my agenda, let’s have a debate over the policies and the outcomes. Until then, don’t be a crab in a barrel!”
Bush’s attack on Donalds, an underdog in the Republican race for the House speaker, comes as the congressman-elect received the second most votes among Republican candidates behind front-runner Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
The Florida Republican previously endorsed McCarthy and voted for him to gain the speakership twice but changed his approach after it seemed the Californian lacked the support to win.
During a third vote on Tuesday, the first session of the 118th Congress, Donalds changed his vote from McCarthy to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
Jordan was the recipient of most non-McCarthy votes that day.
By Wednesday, the defectors changed their strategy again in putting Donalds name into the race for the speakership.
In the fourth, fifth, and sixth votes, Donalds’ support remained firm at 20 votes.
McCarthy has vowed to continue speaking with the House Freedom Caucus, which has prevented the legislative body from electing a speaker.
The group is asking for concessions and is optimistic that McCarthy will pull through. McCarthy has also expressed optimism that he is winning over members.
“I crawl before I walk, I walk before I run,” McCarthy said after the House adjourned Wednesday. “I felt as though we had a very good discussion.”
McCarthy needs most of their support to reach the 218-vote threshold.
Until a speaker is elected, the House cannot hold swearing-in ceremonies, seat members on committees, perform legislative duties, or engage in other business.