After Republicans embarrassingly failed to elect Rep. Jim Jordan as their next House speaker on Tuesday, the party is now formally considering electing the man who stepped in temporarily while his colleagues fought for the position.
‘Speaker Pro Tempore’ Patrick McHenry, 47, was appointed by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy following his ouster two weeks ago – and while his authority is currently limited to overseeing the election of a new Speaker, he could now find the easiest solution are for a fight between the Republicans.
If McHenry were to take on a role as longer-term speaker, the House would proceed procedurally in the same way it would if there were an elected full-time speaker. If elected as Chairman Pro Tempore, rather than appointed, there would likely be an expiration date attached. Some floated on November 17 or January 15.
Republicans remain in chaos over the fate of the top role in the House of Representatives, with the House of Representatives frozen amid a war between Israel and Hamas terrorists.
Rep. Jordan (R-Ohio) lost his first attempt to take the gavel on Tuesday, and the House of Representatives will reconvene on Wednesday for a second vote on whether to promote the Republican congressman.
Speaker Tem Patrick McHenry may be the clearest path to a longer-term solution after Rep. Jim Jordan failed to earn the votes needed to become Speaker of the House of Representatives on Tuesday
Twenty Republican colleagues voted against Jordan’s first bid.
While Jordan received only 200 votes, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) received 212 votes.
Ironically, former Speaker McCarthy received six votes during Tuesday’s roll call.
McHenry has launched a bid for House leadership this Congress to become chairman of the Financial Services Committee instead. But McHenry helped McCarthy become speaker — and later helped him through the entire motion-to-eviction process.
During McCarthy’s near year as speaker, McHenry was one of the California Republican’s closest confidantes.
If McHenry’s temporary post were to become more permanent, a lawmaker would have to go to the House with a resolution to formally elect him.
At this point, it appears that no Republican can become Speaker of the House of Representatives without at least some support from Democrats. Since the resolution needs 217 votes to pass, it is very likely that the parties will have to play ball to get anything passed.
The Republican Problem Solvers Caucus is said to be involved in negotiations to potentially expand McHenry’s powers. But the plan is not set in stone and could easily shift, CNN reported.
Republican Rep. David Joyce is among the lawmakers who could abandon Jordan in his vote for speaker when the second vote takes place Wednesday afternoon.
Joyce, who is also from Ohio, is expected to make a motion to formally elect McHenry if Jordan fails again.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) lost his first round of voting as chairman on Tuesday. The House of Representatives will vote again on the presidency on Wednesday
Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy appointed McHenry as Speaker Pro Temp – and sought his assistant as he navigated the motion-to-eviction process
Vote count of the first speaker
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, DN.Y. — 212
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio – 200
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-California. — 6
Former Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y. — 3
Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La. — 7
Rep. Mike Garcia, R-California. — 1
Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn. — 1
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla. — 1
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky. — 1
If McHenry gains Democratic support to be elected Chairman Pro Tempore rather than appointed, this would technically create a “coalition government.”
This does not matter much for the way the House works. The committee relationships would remain the same, the same bills would be considered and the composition of the Rules Committee would not change.
The only difference is that there would be a Speaker with a shorter expiration date than normal. Some say that date could be as early as November 17, but others hope to push that date into the new year – at which point a different chairman would have to be elected.
McCarthy had to go through 15 rounds of voting before becoming chairman earlier this year. It is unclear how long Jordan will wait before abandoning his bid.
However, the waiting list for Jordan is long and seems to be growing.
If Rep. Joyce decides to vote ‘no’ for Jordan, he could be joined by wavering Republican Reps. Ann Wagner (Mo.), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (Iowa), Beth Van Duyne (Texas) and Drew Ferguson (Ga.).
Jim Jordan and Steve Scalise both threw their hats into the ring to replace Kevin McCarthy as House speaker