Three ways Republican House Speaker chaos ends on Capitol Hill

Three ways Republican House Speaker chaos ends on Capitol Hill
Three ways Republican House Speaker chaos ends on Capitol Hill

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details Three ways Republican House Speaker chaos ends on Capitol Hill in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - CAPITOL HILL — A day after one Republican nominee to be Speaker of the House of Representatives withdrew, another with equally long odds is making a fresh bid for the gavel.

Jim Jordan, a leader of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, has confirmed he is running again for Speaker after Steve Scalise stepped aside on Thursday.

But it is unclear if Jordan has the majority support needed in the full House.

He could not even win over enough fellow Republicans to his candidacy this week in an internal party ballot, which Scalise won.

Meanwhile, Austin Scott announced after a closed-door meeting on Friday morning that he would also go for the job.

But the Georgia congressman has little name recognition and is even more of a longshot.

Candidates can make their case during a party forum at 13:00 local time (17:00 GMT).

Ten days have now passed since the Speaker’s chair was vacated after an unprecedented vote to oust Kevin McCarthy from the job.

The vacuum at the very top of the US government has left the lower chamber of Congress unable to carry out its most basic functions.

What happens now? The exit routes

1. Jordan - or another Republican - gets 217 votes

As frustration over the stalemate grows, some lawmakers see a path for Jordan to become the new nominee.

As he announced his bid on Friday, the Ohio congressman said he feels “real good” about his prospects.

Whether he can gain enough votes from fellow Republicans, however, is unclear. In the secret ballot that saw Scalise become the nominee, Jordan earned 99 votes to Scalise’s 113.

Florida congressman Mario Díaz-Balart voiced doubts to reporters on Friday about Jordan’s ability to win the gavel and, if even he does become Speaker, function effectively.

He pointed to Jordan’s failure after losing the internal ballot on Wednesday to convince his own supporters to switch their support to Scalise.

Díaz-Balart said: “If you can’t get your closest friends [to follow you], it begs the question: can you do anything? Can you get anybody to follow you on really difficult questions?”

One of Jordan’s backers, Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, said she hoped party members can coalesce around a Speaker and bring it to a vote on the House floor “immediately”.

She criticized those who have said they would never vote for Jordan. “Saying ‘never’ anything is just not the way to go”, said Greene on Friday.

Some moderate lawmakers have expressed reluctance to vote for Jordan, a conservative hard-liner backed by former President Donald .

Others have argued that Jordan is not adept at fundraising — Speakers are expected to get donors to open their checkbooks for the party.

If the House Judiciary Committee chairman’s nomination fails, more names are likely to be floated in the coming days.

They include Tom Emmer, the third-highest ranking House Republican, and Kevin Hern, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee.

In the meantime, some representatives have said they are at a loss. “I have no earthly idea,” Missouri’s Mark Alford told NBC. “We’re a ship that doesn’t have a rudder right now.”

2. A temporary speaker

Another proposal would see the House’s acting Speaker, Patrick McHenry, be granted extra powers temporarily.

This would allow the House to function — and avoid a government shutdown in a month’s time — while a longer-term solution is found. This would require some cooperation from Democrats to work out the details.

“It’s important that we get back to the business of running this country,” Ohio congressman Dave Joyce said of that option, according to the Washington Post.

But some lawmakers don’t want a short-term fix.

“Members want this resolved,” Florida’s Byron Donalds told reporters. “I think a... caretaker is not what members are interested in, and frankly I agree.”

He said he believes a temporary speaker would not be effective amid ongoing negotiations over the budget and other issues.

3. Democrats to the rescue

A third option would be for Republicans to agree with Democrats on a consensus Republican candidate.

This option, however, would entail concessions to the minority party. Democrats want to eliminate a new rule introduced in January that gives any member the power to bring a vote to the floor to overthrow the Speaker.

Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries has suggested that Democrats are willing to work with Republicans to end the deadlock

“We are ready, willing and able to find bipartisan common ground,” Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said on Thursday. But that would require Republican partners, he added.

Some lawmakers, including Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have suggested that five Republicans could switch sides and vote for Jeffries to become Speaker.

But that looks very unlikely.

Why Scalise failed

Scalise’s bid was plagued by the same issues that vexed former Speaker Kevin McCarthy before he was overthrown last week.

The Republicans control the House, but with a narrow majority.

To successfully secure the votes needed to win a floor vote, Scalise needed 217 of 221 Republican representatives (House members) to vote for him. Only five rebels were needed to torpedo his leadership ambitions.

Despite his victory in the internal party ballot on Wednesday, momentum quickly swung against him.

The holdouts gave a variety of reasons, ranging from disagreements over policy to a simple desire not to uphold what some termed “the status quo”.

Why all this is a problem

The vacancy in one of the most important roles in US government comes at a bad time.

Without a Speaker, the chamber is unable to pass any bills or approve White House requests for emergency aid. That includes potential help for Israel amid its ongoing fight with Hamas.

A leaderless House also means that Congress is unable to pass any spending bills — even short-term measures — that would allow the government to avoid a potential shutdown in mid-November.

Several members of the House have suggested a solution is unlikely until early next week.

What exactly that looks like remains an open question. — BBC


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