Disagreements are the norm in Congress and have been happening for hundreds of years. What isn’t normal is when one party in power is so divided that it can’t get a leader elected within one of the houses.
The turmoil all started when the former speaker was ousted by a small group of Republicans working with Democrats. This left the House of Representatives without a leader at a time when the world appears on the brink of widespread war in the Middle East. Add in domestic economic woes and Republicans need to get it together.
The leading Republican candidate to take over as House Speaker unexpectedly quit the race and lawmakers are scrambling to find a replacement. Majority Leader Steve Scalise (LA) dropped out as speaker-designate on Thursday night, according to Fox News.
Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (OH) has officially announced his desire to win the speaker’s gavel. Scalise edged past him in a closed doors meeting earlier this week. Two other unofficial candidates are Majority Whip Tom Emmer (MN) and Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (NC).
Jordan is the most high-profile among Republicans at this point and he was able to get 99 of 217 GOP votes needed to win during party balloting earlier this week. Scalise had 113. Jordan garnered more public endorsements than Scalise, and GOP members said they would vote for Jordan after initially supporting Scalise.
Emmer and McHenry are outside candidates at this point with neither officially declaring their intent to run for the speaker’s seat.
Emmer holds the third leadership position within the House Republicans and appears to have privately floated running for speaker while supporting Scalise. A GOP member indicated Emmer was positioning himself as a “fallback” to Scalise.
McHenry also has not announced an official bid for speaker. He serves as the temporary speaker but has limited authority in handling House business. He has previously distanced himself from the idea of running for speaker although GOP members have voiced support. Some members floated the idea of giving McHenry more power to handle financial legislation through November.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (TX) has already indicated that any additional authority is not likely to be approved. Republicans have a lot of work to do with each passing day as budget legislation will need to be passed next month and the U.S. is throwing support behind its ally Israel in a time of war.
- Leading Republican candidate for House Speaker drops out of race.
- Jordan still in the mix and two new candidates pop up.
- GOP holds the House majority but can’t seem to find a new leader.
Source: Fox News