U.S. Rep. and former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks to the media after it was reported that U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) would not seek a third vote to become the next House speaker and will instead back a plan to empower House Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-NC) to serve through January, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, October 19, 2023.
Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters
He saga electing a speaker of the House returns to square one.
House Republicans entered the weekend without their leading candidate for president, Representative Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who dropped out of the race on Friday. An internal vote among Republicans found that the majority wanted to find a new candidate.
“This is embarrassing for the Republican Party, embarrassing for the nation,” the former spokesman said Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California.he said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” McCarthy was overthrown from office on October 3 after Republican disagreement over the budget almost caused a government shutdown.
After Jordan After dropping out on Friday, a flurry of Republican candidates announced they would consider entering the race, including Majority Leader Tom Emmer, who appears to be a frontrunner. As of Sunday, nine Republican representatives had committed to campaigning for president.
Here is the list of the Republican candidates:
- Representative Tom Emmer, Minnesota
- Representative Kevin Hern, Oklahoma
- Representative Jack Bergman, Michigan
- Representative Gary Palmer, Alabama
- Representative Mike Johnson, Louisiana
- Representative Byron Donalds, Florida
- Representative Pete Sessions, Texas
- Representative Austin Scott, Georgia
- Representative Dan Meuser, Pennsylvania
McCarthy nominated Emmer on Friday, citing his ability to pass difficult bills and winning majorities makes him “the best person for the job.”
So far, many Republicans haven’t been all that optimistic about any particular speaker candidate.
Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, and Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas.Both said Sunday that they still don’t know who they will vote for, but they said they want these elections to happen so they can continue governing.
“Congress is a lot like high school, but even more so, so I hope we get through this,” Turner said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. He added that he has been and will continue to be part of the ruling majority so that the party can agree on a president.
Former Republican Rep. Liz Cheney did not express support for any specific candidate, saying on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the current state of House Republican dysfunction is not surprising.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who served from 1995 to 1999, said House Republicans are dragging their feet.
“They should go to a conference, not go out, bring food and stay there,” Gingrich said on “Fox News Sunday.” “They shouldn’t kick anyone out until they’re 217.”
He added that the presidential candidate must be able to maintain those 217 votes for the next five or six months so that Congress is not in the same situation in a couple of weeks.
Gingrich also said she wishes there were women in the race like Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., and Rep. Beth Van Duyne, R-Texas, who could be “more effective” in unifying the House. Of the nine candidates in the race for president so far, none are women.
McCaul, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the stalemate in the presidential race comes at a particularly inopportune time, given world events such as the arrival of the War between Israel and Hamas and the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Without a speaker, the House has hampered his ability to provide funding for Israeli aid or issue condemnation of the militant group Hamas, McCaul said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
“The world is on fire,” he said. “This is a very dangerous thing we are doing and, most importantly, it is shameful, because it strengthens and emboldens our adversaries.”
Republicans will reconvene to discuss potential speaker candidates on Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET. On Tuesday morning at 9 a.m., they will meet for a vote at the Republican conference and try to hold a floor vote later that day, according to Acting Chairman Patrick McHenry, R.N.C.