The growing number of candidates highlights a striking lack of unity among Republicans as the House enters a third week without a speaker
As pressure mounts for Republicans to unite behind a single candidate for House speaker, the list of GOP nominees keeps growing. A total of nine Republican congressmen have now announced their candidacy for the role since previous speaker-designate Jim Jordan was kicked off the ballot on Friday.
The nine Republicans vying for House Speaker are: Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer, Oklahoma Rep. Kevin Hern, Georgia Rep. Austin Scott, Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson, Michigan Rep. Jack Bergman, Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, Pennsylvania Rep. Dan Meuser, Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, and Alabama Rep. Gary Palmer.
There is no sign yet of who might have enough support to win the role outright.
Emmer, 62, is currently House majority whip, and therefore the third-most powerful Republican in the House. But he has his work cut out for him, with some reports suggesting that former President Donald Trump — and, therefore, Trump's allies in Congress — aren't supportive of Emmer's bid.
On Monday, however, a reporter asked Trump about the speaker race, noting that Emmer hadn't always been the former president's "biggest fan."
"He’s my biggest fan now because he called me yesterday and told me, 'I'm your biggest fan,'" Trump responded, adding: "I’m trying to stay out of that as much as possible."
House Republicans will hear from the nine candidates at a closed-door forum on Monday night, with an internal vote expected on Tuesday, per the BBC.
The path for Republicans to choose a House speaker has been nothing short of tumultuous for a party hoping to keep its narrow majority after the 2024 elections.
Shortly after McCarthy's historic ouster, Republicans nominated Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise to be their candidate for House speaker. The No. 2 House Republican quickly learned that he would not have enough votes to win the formal speaker election, and he soon withdrew himself from consideration for the role.
Last week, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan was selected as the new Republican House speaker nominee. But after three rounds of voting in the House speaker election, Jordan was also unable to secure the number of votes needed to win. By Friday, his dreams of the speakership were dashed when members of his own party voted to drop him as the party's House speaker nominee.
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To be formally elected as House speaker, a nominee must earn the majority of votes cast during an election. That means whoever is selected as House Republicans' next speaker-designate will need to lock in 217 votes, if everyone in the House participates in the election.
Because Republicans have a very narrow majority in the House, an election can easily result in a deadlock if even a few Republican rebels oppose the GOP nominee.
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