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The U.S. House of Representatives is virtually frozen, as Republican turmoil fuels confusion over who will take the leadership of this lower chamber.
Republican Members huddled together in meetings after meetings on Wednesday, with potential speakers talking to different factions within the party. “There are scenarios where this could go on for weeks,” Rep. Garret G. Graves (R-La.) told reporters as he stepped off the House Floor amid the competing meeting. Graves, who has been a close ally of Kevin McCarthy, and North Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry (who is now acting Speaker) warned against picking a new leader too quickly. There is tension between those who want to elect a speaker quickly so they can move on, and others who believe the conference should coalesce behind someone who will bring all factions together to avoid another embarrassing blunder on the House Floor with multiple ballots. Graves stated that the first step would be to let people go home and decompress for a bit. The second step would be to get us back together. I believe that before we even discuss speaker, we need to talk about the function of the position. The race for a Republican Speaker
House Republicans are planning to reconvene in a week and choose a successor to McCarthy. The new speaker could be voted on next Wednesday if they agree. But it’s not clear if they will reach this goal. A few floors below the floor where Graves delivered his remarks, an unannounced meeting between a Texas delegation of congressional members and possible speaker candidates was underway. This is one of several meetings that are expected as the Republican race for the leadership of the chamber narrowly controlled intensifies. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La). On Wednesday, members of Texas met with Jim Jordan, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee in Ohio, and Rep. Kevin Hern who is also chairperson of conservative Republican Study Committee. A group of GOP legislators from New York left speaker’s offices and refused to reveal who they backed for speaker. Rep. Nick LaLota said that he would like to vote on a resolution next Wednesday. “I think it’s better to vote sooner than later.” “
Scalise & Jordan announce they are running
Hern’s candidacy has yet to be announced, but Jordan & Scalise already have. Scalise stated that he has a track record for bringing diverse viewpoints together within the Conference in order to reach consensus.
Scalise is a member in the House GOP leadership and was elected to Congress as a Special Election in 2008, but he has been in that position since 2014. He is widely respected among House Republicans but many members are calling for fresh faces and fresh leadership after the ouster of former Speaker McCarthy.
He is pitching himself as a unifying force against Democrats.
“Our strength as a Conference comes from our unity, and we have seen when we unite as a Conference, we can deliver wins for the American people,” Scalise said. Scalise said, “Now that we have a united front against Democrats in the Senate and White House, it is time to leverage upcoming deadlines to win conservative victories.” We need to remain realistic in terms of what we can achieve, but if we are united, then we can give the House leverage to win our upcoming policy battles. “
Jordan was the first chair of the House Freedom Caucus, a hardline group of conservatives. He is one of its founding members. Since his election in 2006, Jordan has been a driving factor on the right side of the party. In recent years, Jordan has evolved from an activist who sought to remove former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to a key player within the party. He became the most vocal defender of former President Trump in Congress when he was first elected. A shared loyalty to Trump help foster a more collegial relationship with McCarthy during his speakership.
But Graves cautioned against promoting current members of the leadership team — without specifically noting Scalise’s name. Graves warned against promoting current members of the leadership team — without specifically mentioning Scalise’s name. This is premature. We need to address the issues that I raised before. I think that we should do a deeper look into the accountability of the Leadership Team and a flaw I saw in January. As lawmakers discussed other races to fill leadership positions below the Speaker, and who could run, Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) stressed that the focus should be placed on the race for the speaker. She said, “This is constitutional succession, the remainder is palace intrigue. “
“The House of Representatives remains frozen”
Graves said it’s possible
to consider a scenario where McHenry remains in his temporary post for an extended period while allowing work on the floor. But complex rules restrict the House’s ability to conduct business. This includes sending bills to committees or moving legislation forward. “We are in an unprecedented situation where the House of Representatives has been effectively frozen,” said Graves.
Graves suggested that members not go through the same 15 elections as it took to elect McCarthy Speaker in January. Instead, they should work behind closed doors. He said that some Republicans were looking for a way to continue working on the House floor until a permanent Speaker is selected. “This is a clean slate.” “I don’t know what the limits or authority are,” he said. So people are trying to figure how to build an airplane while you fly it. This report was contributed by NPR’s Kelsey Snell, Susan Davis and Susan Davis.