HomePoliticsRepublicans Search for Unity on House Speaker Candidate Ahead of Vote

Republicans Search for Unity on House Speaker Candidate Ahead of Vote

Republicans worked on Tuesday to find unity behind a candidate for speaker amidst divisions and uncertainty in the House of Representatives. Less than half of House Republicans publicly supported either Representative Steve Scalise or Representative Jim Jordan to replace former Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Complicating the situation, McCarthy’s supporters were considering a vote to reinstate him. This reflects deep divisions in the GOP that could prolong the race and lead to a drawn-out fight on the House floor. The House has been paralyzed since McCarthy’s removal, raising concerns about its ability to take action on important matters, such as supporting Israel in the wake of the conflict with Hamas.

Representative Michael McCaul emphasized the urgency of electing a new speaker in light of the situation in Israel. He stated that the world is watching and that a dysfunctional democracy sends the wrong message. McCaul expressed concerns that in a three-way race, no candidate would secure a majority of Republican support. Scalise and Jordan participated in a closed-door candidates’ forum, while McCarthy did not.

Scalise emphasized the need for the House to get back to work, particularly in supporting Israel. On the other hand, Jordan’s supporters argued that the recent chaos necessitates a different leadership direction that aligns better with the party’s base. Many members remained undecided or unwilling to endorse a candidate. The closed-door meeting of House Republicans included criticism of the eight Republican rebels who voted to remove McCarthy. Two of those rebels, Matt Gaetz and Tim Burchett, stated that they would support the majority’s choice but not McCarthy.

Marjorie Taylor Greene expressed disagreement with the removal of McCarthy, stating that it was wrong and that he had widespread support. Republicans also discussed potential changes to party rules to avoid a repeat of McCarthy’s removal, including making it harder to remove a sitting speaker and requiring a near-unanimous vote before nominating a candidate for speaker. Regardless of the outcome, McCaul called on Republicans to put aside their differences and address the violence in Israel. Without a speaker, the House would be paralyzed and unable to take action.