House Republicans call deadlock in speaker race “disgraceful”

Speaking to the media, U.S. Rep. and former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) would not seek a third vote to become the next speaker of the House and instead, on Oct. 19, 2023, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., to serve until January. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) will support the plan to empower the Speaker.

Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters

The saga of electing the Speaker of the House has again reached the first stage.

Republicans entered the weekend without the leading speaker candidate, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who dropped out of the race on Friday. An internal poll of Republicans found a majority favored a new nominee.

“It’s embarrassing for the Republican Party, embarrassing for the nation,” former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Ca., said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” McCarthy was ousted from his post on October 3 after Republican disagreements over the budget nearly caused a government shutdown.

After Jordan bowed out Friday, a flurry of Republican candidates announced they were considering entering the race, including Majority Whip Tom Emmer, who appeared to be the frontrunner. As of Sunday, nine Republican delegates had pledged to campaign for the speaker.

McCarthy nominated Emmer on Friday, saying his ability to pass tough bills and win majorities makes him “the best person for the job.”

Many Republicans have never been bullish on any particular speaker candidate.

Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, and Rep. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-TX., both said Sunday they didn’t know who they would vote for, but said they wanted to hold the election so they could continue to govern. .

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“It’s like Congressional High School, but more so, and I hope we get through this,” Turner said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” He said that he has been and will continue to be part of the ruling majority, so the party can accept the Speaker.

Former Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, who has not voiced support for any particular candidate, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that House Republican dysfunction in its current state is not surprising.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who served from 1995 to 1999, said House Republicans were dragging their feet.

“They should go to a convention, not come out, bring food and stay there,” Gingrich said on “Fox News Sunday.” “They shouldn’t bring anyone out until 217.”

He said the Speaker candidate should retain those 217 votes for the next 5 to 6 months so that the Congress will not be in the same situation in a few weeks.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, RNY, and Rep. Gingrich also said she wants women like Rep. Beth Van Duyne, R-TX., to be “more effective” in unifying the House. So far, none of the nine candidates in the Speaker race are women.

McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the impasse in the speaker race comes at a particularly inopportune time, given world events such as the advent of the Israel-Hamas war and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Without a speaker, the House has blocked its ability to fund Israeli aid or issue condemnations of the militant group Hamas, McCaul said on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday.

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“The world is burning,” he said. “It’s very dangerous what we’re doing and, more importantly, it’s embarrassing because it empowers and emboldens our adversaries.”

Republicans will reconvene Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET to discuss potential speaker nominees. At 9 a.m. Tuesday, they will convene for the Republican convention to vote and hold a vote later that day, said Interim Speaker Patrick McHenry, RN.C.

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