House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) released a statement Thursday renewing her support for Speaker-elect Jim Jordan (R-OH) while “strongly” opposing any alliance with Democrats to elect President Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-NC). ) as alternate President.
“People across #NY21 and America can be assured that I strongly oppose any attempt to create a Democratic-backed coalition government,” she said. job on X after a conference meeting.
“I will vote to support Jim Jordan for Speaker of the House,” she said. “We must work to unify Republicans as the last line of defense to save America. »
People across #NY21 and America can be assured that I strongly oppose any attempt to create a Democratic-backed coalition government.
I will vote to support Jim Jordan for Speaker of the House.
We must work to unify Republicans as the last line of defense to save…
– Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) October 19, 2023
After the failed runoff vote Wednesday to elect Jordan as president, some Republicans supported the idea of working with Democrats on Thursday to elect McHenry as acting president. This idea apparently does not have the full support of the conference, particularly from many conservative members.
Breitbart News Senior Legal Associate Ken Klukowski explained how McHenry’s elevation could empower House Democrats:
If something happens to the president and vice president, then federal law 3 USC § 19 states that the Speaker of the House becomes acting president “until the expiration of the then current presidential term.” After the President, it goes to the President pro tempore of the Senate, then to the Cabinet Secretaries in the order in which Congress created their departments, starting with the Secretary of State and ending with the Secretary of Homeland Security.
But it can only be a person with the real title of President, and not President Pro Tempore or Acting President. So if McHenry – or anyone else – is sitting in the Speaker’s chair as anything other than the actual President elected by a roll-call vote of the House, then after Biden and Harris, the powers of the presidency would bypass the House altogether, going to the Senate. Patty Murray (D-WA) as Senate President pro tempore, then to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, then to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and all the way through Biden’s Cabinet, to Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. All members of this list are Democrats, except for one president duly elected by the Republican-majority House.
“It would be a complete betrayal of the conservative agenda that won us the majority in the House,” said former U.S. Ambassador Ken Blackwell, president of the Conservative Action Project. “Republican members must see through this one-party establishment plot to block an ‘America First’ agenda that would save our constitutional republic by ending the Biden agenda and paving the way for the election of a new president in 2024.”
A third presidential vote is expected in the near future, possibly Thursday evening, according to media reports. Jordan, who appears to be the only candidate vying for the gavel, hopes to convince his opposition to support him before the vote. He previously backed out of a third vote Thursday morning due to a lack of support.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebo. He is the author of Politics of slave morality.