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House Republicans to hold internal vote to test support for presidential candidates | House of Representatives


House Republicans are divided on who should be the next speaker, but they are nonetheless continuing an internal vote Wednesday morning to determine who — if anyone — can garner enough support to replace Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted from his post in a historic defeat last. week.

Two House Republicans, Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio, have launched formal campaigns for the presidency, and they each received dozens of endorsements from the other members of the conference.

But hours after Scalise and Jordan presented their vision for the role to the caucus at a candidates’ forum Tuesday evening, it remains very unclear whether either man will be able to garner support from a majority in the House, given the very slim majority of Republicans in the House. lower room. If all 433 current House members participate in the vote, Scalise or Jordan can only afford four defections from the Republican conference and still win the presidency.

Some members suggested Tuesday they would prefer an alternative — or McCarthy. But McCarthy, who recently suggested he would be willing to pick up the gavel, said Tuesday that he had asked his caucus not to nominate him to the post again.

“It’s important that whoever takes this job is willing to risk it to do what’s right for the American public,” McCarthy said.

The precariousness of Republican power was on clear display last week, when McCarthy became the first Speaker of the House of Representatives in U.S. history to be ejected from office. Eight Republicans, led by far-right Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, joined with House Democrats to remove McCarthy as speaker.

Now House Republicans, many of whom remain outraged by Gaetz and his allies following McCarthy’s impeachment, must unite around a single presidential candidate. Until a new leader is chosen, Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina will continue to serve as acting speaker, with the House remaining unable to conduct other business.

No House-wide vote on the speakership has yet been scheduled. Asked if Republicans would be able to hold a vote in the full House on Wednesday, McHenry said Monday: “That’s my goal.”

Republicans hope to be able to choose a speaker by the end of the week and avoid the spectacle that unfolded in January, when McCarthy required 15 rounds of voting to win the gavel. Quick elections would allow Republicans to focus their full attention on the situation in Israel, after the attacks organized this weekend by Hamas. Many House Republicans are eager to pass a bill providing aid to Israel, but they cannot do so until a new president is chosen.

On Tuesday, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul of Texas, and the panel’s top Democrat, Gregory Meeks of New York, introduced a bipartisan resolution expressing support for Israel.

“I expect this bipartisan resolution will be one of the first, if not the first, items considered on the ground once we elect a new president,” McCaul said in a statement. “And I expect it to receive overwhelming bipartisan support.”

Meanwhile, Democrats are once again expected to unanimously support their leader, Hakeem Jeffries of New York. Jeffries called on the most centrist members of the House Republican conference to join with Democrats to form a “bipartisan governing coalition,” but no such partnership materialized.

Jeffries told CNN on Sunday: “I hope our Republican colleagues get their act together, can agree on a speaker who can garner 217 votes and we can move forward to advance the business of the American people.” »


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