Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D.N.Y.) took to the podium after he was elected Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R.Calif.) to be their leader.

Jeffries He thanked his coworkers, paid tribute Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), and presented himself as the highest ranking Democrat in the chamber. He admitted that the House had been reorganized by the Republican majority. “at a fork in the road,” However, his party would work. “extend our hand of partnership” All across the aisle

Jeffries Took the gavel. McCarthy ― but first, he had a bit of fun.

“I also want to make clear that we will never compromise our principles,” He said this before diving into the list, which included all of the alphabet.

“House Democrats will always put American values over autocracy,” Jeffries began. “Benevolence over bigotry. The Constitution over the code.”

You can also watch Jeffries’ whole speech.)

As the Democrat spoke McCarthy The podium is just behind her.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries Early Saturday morning, speaks at the House

Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Before it was over, the voting took place for four days with 15 rounds. McCarthy secured the support needed The caucus won despite opposition by far-right extremists within it, such as Reps. Lauren Boebert from Colorado and Matt Gaetz in Florida. McCarthy The week was spent enduring rejection after rejection, and meeting up with detractors in order to find a way to win their support.

Six of the finalists were chosen. McCarthy’s opponents voted “present” It was Friday evening. A person becomes speaker when they’ve received a majority from House members who are present and voting for a candidate. This is the “present” The threshold was lowered by votes McCarthy had to get to the final to proclaim victory. He won with 216 votes. Jeffries’ 212.