Who Will Be the Next Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives?
The U.S. House of Representatives is gearing up to vote on Tuesday to select a new speaker, following the recent turmoil that saw Kevin McCarthy ousted from the position. This unexpected turn of events left the chamber paralyzed for two weeks, unable to make any significant decisions. As the House prepares for this crucial vote, several candidates have emerged as potential contenders for the position.
JIM JORDAN: A Force on the Republican Right Flank
One of the prominent figures on the Republican right flank, Jim Jordan, has been nominated by his party to serve as the next speaker. Jordan, currently the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, has been a driving force behind the impeachment investigation into President Joe Biden. He has also been a thorn in the side of the Biden administration, launching multiple probes against them. Having won the Republican speaker nomination, Jordan has been busy securing support from fellow lawmakers, although it remains uncertain if he has garnered the necessary 217 votes to secure the speakership. Notably, former President Donald Trump has endorsed Jordan’s bid.
HAKEEM JEFFRIES: The Democratic Leader
On the Democratic side, Hakeem Jeffries is expected to receive unanimous support from his party. However, as the minority party in the Republican-controlled chamber, the Democrats lack the votes needed to elect Jeffries as the speaker. The New York representative has expressed his willingness to seek a bipartisan compromise if the Republicans fail to secure enough votes for Jordan or another candidate from their own ranks.
PATRICK MCHENRY: A Possible Interim Solution
After McCarthy’s removal, Republican Representative Patrick McHenry was named as the temporary speaker. Some Republicans have suggested that McHenry could continue in the role if they are unable to elect Jordan. However, the extent of his powers as a seat-warmer remains unclear. Despite stating that he does not desire the position, McHenry may find himself pushed towards it if other candidates lose support.
TOM EMMER: The Chief Vote Counter
Another potential candidate is Minnesota Republican Representative Tom Emmer, who currently serves as his party’s chief vote counter and holds the third-highest leadership position overall. Emmer has been mentioned as a possible alternative if Jordan fails to secure enough support.
KEVIN HERN: A Contender from the Republican Study Committee
Kevin Hern, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, initially expressed his interest in running for speaker but later withdrew his bid. Nevertheless, his name has continued to come up as a potential alternative to Jordan.
KEVIN MCCARTHY: A Dilemma for the Former Speaker
The former speaker, Kevin McCarthy, has sent mixed signals about whether he would seek to return if other candidates fail to secure the speakership. McCarthy’s decision remains uncertain at this point.
TOM COLE: A Steady Hand at the Wheel
Representing Oklahoma, Tom Cole is the powerful chair of the Rules Committee and one of only five Native Americans in Congress. He is widely regarded as a reliable and experienced leader who could gain support from Democrats if nominated. However, Cole has consistently downplayed any ambitions of becoming speaker.
It’s worth noting that Austin Scott, a low-profile Republican from Georgia, and Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, were initially considered as potential candidates but have since been ruled out for various reasons. Scott lost the nomination to Jordan, while Scalise faced challenges in unifying the Republican Party and had health concerns due to his ongoing treatment for multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer.