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House Republicans restart speaker search as 3-week mark approaches.

House Republicans ​Return to ​Washington for Speaker Election

After a⁣ series of tumultuous events, House Republicans are back⁢ to square one ⁢in their ‍search ​for a new leader. The‍ deeply‍ divided Republican‍ conference has attempted to elect a speaker ​three times in as many weeks.‌ Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has⁢ been essentially closed ⁤for nearly ‌three full weeks.

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With tensions flaring ‌among​ GOP members,⁣ Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.)⁣ dismissed lawmakers for the weekend on Oct. 20 saying,⁢ “We ​need space​ and time ⁣for candidates to talk to other members.”

Over the weekend, ​nine Republicans‍ announced their bid ​for the speakership: Majority ⁣Whip ⁢Tom Emmer​ (R-Min.), Reps. ‌Mike Johnson (R-La.), Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), Kevin Hern (R-Okla), Jack Bergman ‍(R-Mich.), Austin Scott ‌(R-Ga.), Pete Sessions⁣ (R-Texas),​ Gary Palmer (R-Ala.), and Dan⁢ Meuser ⁢(R-Pa.).

Mr. ⁣McHenry⁤ said he hoped that‍ his ⁣temporary ​duties ⁣would end this week with the election ‍of a speaker.

Impatience

GOP members are increasingly impatient to resolve the​ matter and‍ get back to work. ‌On ⁣the table‍ are ⁣a request from President Joe Biden to provide wartime support to Ukraine and‍ Israel, the unfinished appropriations process which⁤ must be resolved​ by⁣ Nov. ‍17 to avoid⁣ a government shutdown, and the security‌ of the southern border, a high priority for Republicans.

“If we don’t have ‌a Speaker of the House, we ‍can’t govern. And every day goes⁢ by,⁤ we’re essentially⁣ shut⁤ down as a government,” Foreign Relations Committee‌ Chairman Michael McCaul‌ (R-Texas) said on the ABC News ‌program “This Week” on Oct. 22.

Senate Republicans, though wary of giving advice ⁢to their House colleagues, have ⁣also shown signs of impatience.

“Look, I’m not an expert on ​the⁤ House,” Senate Minority Leader‌ Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on “Face​ the Nation” on Oct.​ 22. “I have my hands full⁢ here in ‍the Senate, and we’re going to ⁢do our job⁤ and⁣ hope the House can get functional here ​sometime​ soon.”

More than two-thirds of⁤ Americans​ say the ​House ‍should⁣ elect a speaker‍ as ‌soon as possible according to⁣ a USA Today/Suffolk University⁣ poll released Oct. ‌22. An Oct. 12 CNN/SSRS‌ poll showed that 74‍ percent of respondents disapprove⁤ of the way Republican leaders in ​Congress are‌ handling ⁣their jobs.

Republicans briefly considered a‌ workaround last ⁤week that was aimed at opening the House for‍ business while the speaker race continues. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who was speaker designee at⁣ the time, and other Republicans​ proposed the idea to temporarily invest Mr. McHenry with the full powers of the speakership.

Mr. Jordan later said it​ was an attempt‌ to “lower the⁢ temperature” within the tense Republican conference while allowing the House to conduct business.

The matter was dropped on Oct. ‌19 after a ⁣large number ⁤of Republicans opposed‌ the idea.

Hard‍ Work Ahead

Whoever claims the gavel will also inherit the challenge of ​governing ⁣with‌ an ⁤often-ungovernable majority.

Mr. McCarthy was ousted from ​the⁤ speakership ​on Oct. 3 by eight Republicans over the objection of‌ 210 others. The move was successful only ⁣because 208​ Democrats joined the effort.

Prior to that, a similar small group of GOP members defeated a continuing resolution presented by‌ the very conservative House Freedom Caucus and the more pragmatic Main Street Caucus.

The proposed⁤ 30-day extension of spending accompanied by an overall 8 percent cut in non-defense‌ discretionary ​spending‌ was intended⁣ to forestall an imminent government‍ shutdown while allowing more ‌time‍ to complete the 2024 appropriations process.

Republican infighting during ⁤the 118th Congress has caused some observers ‌to wonder if any ‍speaker can bring the Republican ‍conference to heel.

“There’s a ‌very ‍real danger that [the House will] elect​ somebody, and three or four or five ⁣weeks from now, you’re going to have a group of people blow up and decide to go back into the⁣ same mess,” former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said in an interview on ⁤“Fox News Sunday.” “So they need ‍to pick somebody to get stability.”

Previous candidates for the⁣ speakership were undone⁤ by their perceived leaning ‍in one ‍ideological direction or ‌another.

Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) was elected speaker designee on Oct. 11. His candidacy was derailed‌ almost immediately ⁤by supporters of his opponent,‍ Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who‍ considered Mr. Scalise too tied to the insider politics of Washington ‍by virtue ​of his position in conference leadership.

Mr. Jordan was the elected⁢ speaker designee. But his candidacy​ was undone ‍by mostly more moderate members who objected to Mr. Jordan’s seemingly aggressive ‌leadership and far-right policy positions.

Both ⁤candidates were well-known outside the House of Representatives. Most of ​the nine⁤ candidates in the next round have much lower profiles. Collectively, they‍ present a range of ideological‌ viewpoints within ‌Republican conservatism.

Republicans are‌ slated ‌to meet at⁤ 6:30 ⁣p.m. on​ Oct. 23 for their‍ candidate forum.

A⁤ conference‌ vote on the candidates is expected at ‍9:00 a.m. on Oct. 24.

Mr. McHenry said he hoped ‍to see a vote on ⁣the conference floor as early as Oct. 24 with the election concluded by Oct. 27.

How has the ​disarray within the Republican Party affected their ‌ability‌ to effectively govern?

Government funding, which would have avoided a shutdown, ‌was ‍rejected by ‌44 Republicans​ and all Democrats.

The current ⁣state​ of ⁣disarray within the Republican Party ‌has left many⁤ questioning‌ their ability to effectively govern. The ongoing speaker‌ election has exposed deep divisions within the party and has hindered progress on important issues.

As Republicans return to⁢ Washington ⁣for yet another attempt at electing a new speaker, the stakes are high. The challenges facing the country, including providing ⁤support to Ukraine‍ and Israel, ⁤resolving ⁢the‌ appropriations process, and securing⁢ the southern border, require swift and decisive action.

The delay‍ in​ electing‌ a new speaker has not gone unnoticed ⁢by the American public. ⁤Recent polls show that a majority of Americans believe the House should elect a speaker as soon as possible. Additionally, the disapproval​ ratings for Republican leaders in Congress are alarmingly high.

Given‌ the⁢ circumstances, it is crucial that‍ House Republicans ⁢come together and choose ⁤a leader who can ⁤unite the party and effectively govern. This leader must be able to navigate the ‍diverse ​interests within the ⁣party and make the tough decisions necessary to move the ⁢country forward.

Whoever claims the gavel ‌will undoubtedly face a difficult task. They will need to‍ find a way​ to ‍govern with a majority that ⁤often proves to be unmanageable. The recent ousting of Kevin McCarthy as speaker is a‌ clear example⁤ of the challenges that come with leading the Republican Party.

The events of​ the past few weeks have​ highlighted the need ‍for⁢ strong and‌ decisive leadership within the Republican Party. It is time for House ⁤Republicans to‍ put⁣ aside their differences and ‍come‌ together for the sake of the country. The⁣ American people are counting on ⁣them to govern effectively and address the pressing issues at hand.

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