Republicans have chosen Tom Emmer as their third candidate for chairman of the House of Representatives, three weeks after their last leader was ousted in a right-wing uprising.
The full House will now vote on the Minnesota congressman’s candidacy, although it is unclear whether he can win.
Mr Emmer emerged as the party’s choice in a series of secret internal votes.
The US legislature has been unable to pass any bills since Kevin McCarthy was impeached on October 3.
Mr. Emmer, 62, is currently the majority whip of the House of Representatives, making him the third most powerful Republican in the House of Representatives.
On Tuesday, the candidates were rejected one by one in successive rounds of voting by Republican lawmakers. In the final round, Mr. Emmer defeated Mike Johnson of Louisiana.
However, it is unclear when Emmer’s nomination to the House of Representatives will be voted on – and whether he has enough support to become speaker.
He may struggle to win over hardline Republicans, including allies of former President Donald Trump.
Republican Andy Webber of Texas told reporters after Tuesday’s party meeting that Mr. Emmer currently does not have the votes needed to win a floor vote.
Several other representatives said about 20 or more of their colleagues currently oppose Mr. Emmer.
Republicans only have a slim majority over Democrats in the House of Representatives of Congress, so their candidate can only afford to lose a handful of their own votes.
Two previous nominees, Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio, both failed to muster enough support to replace Mr. McCarthy.
Brett Guthrie of Kentucky said the ongoing infighting among Republican lawmakers had left him — and “a lot of people I belong to” — frustrated with the lack of progress.
Mr. Guthrie said Mr. Emmer asked holdouts to remain in the room to discuss their differences “rather than having private meetings and phone calls.”
Similarly, New York Republican Brandon Williams said it was disheartening that the Republican Party was in a “civil war with itself.”
However, Mr Williams said he believed the party “actually did what should have been done from the beginning, which is we all sit down and listen to the grievances”.
Emmer, a former college ice hockey player and coach, also previously served as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, which works to help party candidates win elections in the US.
He has held his seat in Congress since 2015 and previously served in the Minnesota Legislature. In 2010, he narrowly lost the battle for the governorship of the state.
Mr. Emmer voted to certify the 2020 election won by President Joe Biden, a move that has led to a contentious relationship with Mr. Trump.
The former president’s preferred candidate, Jordan, resigned last week, and Trump did not endorse any of the eight who threw their hats into the ring on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters at a campaign event in New Hampshire on Monday, Trump said he had spoken to most of the candidates but was “staying above it.”
But the former president’s allies have not hesitated to criticize Mr. Emmer.
Ex-Trump strategist Steve Bannon called the man now the party’s nominee a “Trump hater” on his podcast on Friday, and urged Trump’s supporters in the House of Representatives to “stop” him ”.