By CASEY HARPER | THE CENTER SQUARE
U.S. Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., is the latest to emerge as Republicans’ nominee to be the next House speaker, after a series of votes Tuesday by the GOP caucus behind closed doors.
Emmer faces an uphill battle getting the needed 217 votes on the House floor as House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan failed before him already this month.
Nine Republican lawmakers had thrown their hat in the ring to become speaker, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., said Sunday.
“Today at 9 am, I will gavel in the House GOP Organizing Conference for the purpose of electing a Speaker. Each candidate will be nominated by one colleague,” Stefanik wrote Tuesday morning on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Some candidates withdrew their name from the race. U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Penn., said late Monday he was withdrawing from the race.
U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala., made the same announcement Tuesday morning.
“I will work with the next speaker on the ideas I have laid out so Congress can come together and do the job the American people sent us here to do,” Palmer wrote on X. “With this in mind, I am withdrawing my name from consideration for Speaker.”
The speakership race has led to more division and rancor in the Republican party, meaning whoever does win the speakership will have a tough road ahead of them to fund the government by the mid-November shutdown deadline.
Congress also faces ongoing calls to send funds overseas to help Ukraine and Israel in their respective wars.
The initial nine candidates in the race were as follows:
- Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Mich.
- Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla.
- Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn.
- Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla.
- Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La.
- Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Penn.
- Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala.
- Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga.
- Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas
If any nominee fails to get the votes, one of these could likely be next in line to give it a shot, and so on. The House has gone about three weeks without a speaker.
“The American people elected us to deliver on a conservative agenda that secures our border, stops reckless spending, and holds Joe Biden accountable,” Emmer wrote on X earlier this week. “We cannot afford to fail them. I’m running for Speaker of the House to bring our conference together and get back to work.”