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House GOP holding closed-door meetings in effort to pick new speaker

After ousting Rep. Kevin McCarthy from the post, it appears lawmakers will choose either Rep. Jim Jordan or Rep. Steve Scalise to succeed him.
House GOP holding closed-door meetings in effort to pick new speaker
Posted at 8:45 AM, Oct 11, 2023

The Republican-led House of Representatives is back in Washington this week, trying to select a new speaker of the House after the first-ever successful attempt to remove someone from the post.

A vote to remove House Speaker Kevin McCarthy passed last week by a vote of 216 to 210. As of now, there are two major candidates to take his place: Rep. Jim Jordan and Rep. Steve Scalise.

Jordan is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and has at least 50 public endorsements from Republican members of Congress. Scalise is House majority leader and has at least 23 endorsements. However, there are at least four House Republicans who still believe McCarthy should be reinstated as speaker — an unlikely outcome after being ousted.

SEE MORE: Why is it so hard to be a Republican speaker of the House?

Given the war between Israel and Hamas, Congress has its hands tied. With the Senate in recess, the House of Representatives can't perform any legislative actions or send any bills to President Joe Biden's desk until they've selected a new speaker. 

"If we don't have a speaker, we can't put anything on the floor and we're paralyzed," said Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "I think that's a strong message, that regardless of your differences, we need to come together and nominate and elect a speaker so we can move forward as a country in a very dangerous time."

Without a speaker of the House, and with disagreement over who the next speaker should be, Congress is largely deadlocked and can't do anything until a new speaker is chosen. Until then, things like aid for Ukraine or Israel can't proceed on the House floor.

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