After Republicans voted to give up on Rep. Jim Jordan’s campaign to become House speaker, a number of GOP lawmakers are now considering throwing their hats into the ring. Majority Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota, the third-highest-ranking Republican in the chamber, has already started reaching out to colleagues to gauge support for his potential nomination. Other potential candidates include Oklahoma Republican Study Committee Chairman Kevin Hern, Louisiana GOP Conference Vice Chair Mike Johnson, and Georgia Representative Austin Scott.
At least half-dozen Republicans are now weighing bids for House speaker after GOP lawmakers voted to give up on Rep. Jim Jordan's quest for the gavel. https://t.co/MHuYDxk6ks
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) October 20, 2023
However, the list of contenders may expand even further as Republican lawmakers debate entering the now wide-open race. This comes after Mr. Jordan lost three votes on the House floor, leading to his removal in a secret ballot. Each successive vote showed a diminishing level of support for Jordan, signaling a growing divide within the GOP following a recent move by hardline conservatives to join democrats in ousting Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
In light of these developments, Republican lawmakers are feeling increasingly frustrated as House rules dictate that they cannot conduct legislative business until a speaker is elected. “We must unify and do it fast,” said Mr. Hern when announcing his candidacy. The identity of the frontrunner is currently uncertain, as it will require securing at least a majority of the GOP votes—a threshold that may prove challenging to reach. Furthermore, an attempt to change the rules to increase the nomination threshold was rejected by GOP lawmakers last week.
The race for speaker is heating up, with candidates required to declare their intentions by Sunday, followed by a closed-door candidates forum on Monday. Although Rep. Jim Jordan was popular among hardline conservatives, he was unable to secure the necessary 217 votes for the position due to opposition from over two dozen Republican dissenters. Many of these dissenters included House appropriators who disagreed with Jordan’s plans to drastically reduce federal spending, while others harbored dissatisfaction over the removal of Speaker Kevin McCarthy at the hands of some of the Republicans now supporting Jordan. According to Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, who played a leading role in McCarthy’s removal, Jordan deserved better than “being knifed” in a secret ballot.