Next Options for US House Speaker Vote
The US House of Representatives is preparing for its second vote on a new speaker, following the unsuccessful bid by Republican Jim Jordan. Here are the potential candidates being considered:
Jim Jordan, a prominent member of the Republican right flank, is expected to be nominated again by Republicans after failing to secure enough votes in his first attempt. As the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Jordan has been actively involved in the impeachment investigation of President Joe Biden and has conducted other probes as well. His tenure since 2006 has been marked by clashes with past Republican House leaders, and he has garnered support from former President Donald Trump.
Republican Representative Patrick McHenry of North Carolina has been serving as the temporary speaker following Kevin McCarthy’s removal. If Jordan’s nomination falls short, McHenry is seen as a potential candidate. Some Republicans have expressed their willingness to support him, and even Democrats have shown openness to empowering the acting speaker. Former Republican speakers Newt Gingrich and John Boehner have also recommended that McHenry continue in the role.
Currently serving as the No. 2 House Republican, Steve Scalise was once seen as the heir apparent to Speaker McCarthy. However, his nomination as speaker last week was withdrawn due to his inability to unify Republicans. Scalise, who survived a shooting in 2017, has faced questions about his health as he battles blood cancer. Despite receiving seven votes, he remains a distant second to Jordan.
Former speaker Kevin McCarthy has sent mixed signals about his potential return if other candidates fail to secure the speaker vote. McCarthy received six votes on Tuesday, indicating some level of support within the Republican party.
Republican Representative Tom Emmer of Minnesota, currently serving as the party’s chief vote counter and the No. 3 leader overall, has been mentioned as a possible alternative to Jordan. Emmer received one vote during Tuesday’s vote.
Tom Cole, the powerful chair of the Rules Committee, has served as a congressman since 2003. Widely regarded as a steady hand, he could gain support from Democrats if nominated. However, Cole has repeatedly downplayed the idea of putting himself forward. He received one vote on Tuesday.
Former New York representative Lee Zeldin, who resigned to run for governor, received three votes during Tuesday’s session.
Libertarian lawmaker Thomas Massie, representing Kentucky, has been in Congress since 2012. Massie received one vote on Tuesday but publicly stated that he had asked the voting lawmaker to support Jordan.
Navy veteran and two-term congressman Mike Garcia, from California, serves on several important committees. He received one vote on Tuesday.
Kevin Hern, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, contemplated a speaker bid but later abandoned the idea. However, his name has been mentioned as an alternative to Jordan.
Democrats are expected to vote unanimously for Hakeem Jeffries as their leader. However, as the minority party, they lack the votes to elect him as speaker. Jeffries has expressed openness to a bipartisan compromise if Republicans cannot unite behind Jordan or another candidate. However, it is highly unlikely that such a compromise would result in Jeffries becoming speaker.