Republican Speaker of the House Race: Nine Candidates Emerge After Rep. Jim Jordan Drops Out
The Saga of Electing a Speaker of the House: Republicans in Disarray
Republicans Without a Clear Speaker Candidate
The process of electing a speaker of the House has hit a roadblock for House Republicans. Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, their leading candidate, dropped out of the race on Friday. An internal vote showed that the majority of Republicans wanted to find a new nominee.
This situation has drawn criticism from former speaker Kevin McCarthy, who called it embarrassing for both the Republican Party and the nation. McCarthy, who was removed from his post in October due to Republican disagreements over the budget, made these remarks on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
A Growing List of Republican Candidates
Following Jordan’s withdrawal, several Republican candidates have emerged. Majority Whip Tom Emmer is seen as a frontrunner, with nine Republican representatives committing to campaigning for him. The list of Republican candidates includes:
- Rep. Tom Emmer, Minnesota
- Rep. Kevin Hern, Oklahoma
- Rep. Jack Bergman, Michigan
- Rep. Gary Palmer, Alabama
- Rep. Mike Johnson, Louisiana
- Rep. Byron Donalds, Florida
- Rep. Pete Sessions, Texas
- Rep. Austin Scott, Georgia
- Rep. Dan Meuser, Pennsylvania
McCarthy nominated Emmer on Friday, highlighting his ability to pass difficult bills and secure majorities as the key reasons for his endorsement.
Republicans Divided on Speaker Nominee
However, not all Republicans are fully supportive of any particular speaker nominee at this stage. Representatives Michael Turner and Michael McCaul both admitted on Sunday that they have not yet decided on their vote. They emphasized the need to resolve the election quickly to ensure the functioning of the House.
Former Republican Representative Liz Cheney expressed her lack of support for any specific candidate, stating that the current dysfunction within House Republicans is not surprising.
Calls for Unity and Urgency
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich criticized House Republicans for dragging their feet and urged them to stay in conference until they secure the necessary 217 votes. Gingrich also expressed his wish for female candidates, such as Representative Elise Stefanik and Representative Beth Van Duyne, to be considered for the role, emphasizing their potential for unifying the House.
Representative McCaul, who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, highlighted the unfortunate timing of the speaker race deadlock amidst significant world events. He warned that the absence of a speaker hampers the House’s ability to address important matters such as aid to Israel and condemnations of militant groups like Hamas.
Next Steps for Republicans
Republicans will reconvene on Monday to discuss potential speaker candidates. On Tuesday morning, they will hold a Republican conference vote, aiming to proceed with a floor vote later that day, as outlined by interim Speaker Patrick McHenry.