House Republicans are set to convene on Tuesday to vote — again — on the speaker’s nominee, as the partisan battle that has paralyzed the chamber enters its third week.
Seven Republicans are now running for office, reflecting deep divisions within the House GOP, as the party began meeting at 9 a.m. and spent the day trying to unify through several rounds of secret ballots behind closed doors. Round one of them, eliminating the lowest vote getters each time.
One candidate, Rep. Gary Palmer of Alabama, withdrew before voting took place on Tuesday. He said the House needed a speaker three weeks ago and “if withdrawing my name helps speed up that process even a little bit, I’ll happily step aside.”
If a nominee is selected, a House floor vote could occur as early as Tuesday afternoon, but there is no guarantee that the winner will have the 217 votes needed to be elected, which has eluded the past two nominees.
“I don’t think anybody has that right now,” Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, one of the candidates, said Monday night. “I think we have to work for it.”
The House has been deadlocked since October 3 as hard-right rebels forced a vote to impeach Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Eight Republicans supported the measure, along with Democrats who united behind their own leader, Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York. In the weeks since, Republicans have tried and failed repeatedly to rally around a successor, with wars raging overseas and government shutdowns looming.
“I wouldn’t have vacated, we did it — here we are,” said Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, Mr. Referring to the motion to remove McCarthy. “The American people are looking at this, we’re going through the candidates, we’re going to run and see who we want to go after.”
Among the front-runners for speaker are Republican Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota; Mr. Donalds, the charismatic youngest member of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus; Rep. Kevin Hearn of Oklahoma, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Group; and Representative Mike Johnson of Louisiana, an evangelical Christian and a lawyer who plays a key role in the Judiciary Committee.
Mr. Donalds said he would spend the rest of Monday evening trying to get more votes.
“We have to get back to work,” he said. “We have to finish our bills. We have to continue to fight to protect our border. I think I’m the member who can help bring our conference together,” he added.
Other contenders include Representative Jake Bergman of Michigan, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant general; Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia mounted a surprise challenge to the speaker last week; and Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, former chairman of the Rules Committee.
“We’ve got a good team in our entire convention,” said Representative Mike Garcia of California, who represents a district won by President Biden. “These eight or nine are the best candidates, but actually three or four are in a better position than others. We will open that black box tomorrow,” he said.
Mr. Garcia said he supported Emmer because, unlike some of his rivals, he voted to keep the government open. “It’s important to me to have a leader who doesn’t deliberately drive the government toward a shutdown,” Mr. Garcia said.
A lesser-known candidate, Rep. Don Meuser of Pennsylvania, dropped out Monday evening as discussions began about the next candidate.
Mr. Meuser said his constituents are outraged and the council needs to get back to work.
“The American people — my constituents — are angry,” he said. “They’re frustrated, they’re angry. They’re not just blaming the eight, they’re not blaming Joe Biden. They’re blaming us, they’re blaming me.
Mr. Emmer and Mr. All the candidates in the race except Scott, Mr. They voted against certifying Biden’s 2020 victory in at least one state.
Except for two of them – Mr. Hearn and Mr. Johnson – Mr. who was the Speaker at that time. McCarthy voted in favor of a stopgap spending bill he proposed to avoid a shutdown. Mr. The Donalds did not turn up to vote.
Katie Edmondson, Robert Jimison And Kyla Kuo Contributed report.