Empowering Rep. Patrick McHenry as Interim Speaker: The Path Forward
After 16 days without a speaker of the House, Republican lawmakers are still struggling to elect a new, permanent leader. However, a new plan has emerged to get the House moving again. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, has expressed support for empowering Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., as speaker until January. McHenry has been serving as an interim speaker with limited powers. This article explores the latest developments in the speaker fight and the potential implications.
Republican Holdouts and the Push for McHenry
As Jordan faced opposition from House Republicans in his bid for the speakership, a push to grant McHenry additional powers has gained momentum. The resolution to empower McHenry has sparked fury among a sizable portion of the House Republican conference. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., stated that he did not see a path forward for Jordan to become speaker, leading to the consideration of McHenry as a viable option.
House Democrats Demand Concessions
House Democrats have made it clear that they will not support empowering McHenry without certain concessions from the GOP. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., emphasized that Democrats will be involved in shaping the agenda if their votes are needed. The specifics of these concessions have yet to be determined, and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries will provide further guidance on the matter.
Republican Divisions and Democratic Strategy
Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., estimated that half of the House Republican conference would oppose the resolution granting McHenry temporary powers. This highlights the deep divisions within the GOP on this issue. Meanwhile, House Democrats are biding their time and waiting to hear from Republicans on the proposal. Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., stated that Democrats will assess the details before deciding whether to support the resolution.
Resolution Sparks Infighting and Calls for Unity
The resolution to empower McHenry as a temporary speaker has caused significant infighting within the House Republican conference. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., suggested that House Republicans should undergo “intense therapy” to address their internal divisions. He also emphasized that Democrats may need to support the measure to ensure its passage. In the midst of this turmoil, House Democrats held their own closed-door meeting to strategize.
Postponement of House Vote
A scheduled roll call vote to determine attendance in the House has been postponed as lawmakers continue to debate the resolution empowering McHenry. The timing of the third speaker election remains uncertain, as Jordan’s path to securing the necessary votes is unclear. However, Jordan remains committed to the race and expects a vote to take place soon.
The Role of Rep. Patrick McHenry
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., has been serving as the interim speaker with limited powers. He was chosen from a succession list provided by Rep. Kevin McCarthy in case the speaker’s seat became vacant. McHenry’s appointment as acting House speaker highlights his experience and influence within the Republican Party. As chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, he played a key role in negotiating the debt limit deal earlier this year.
Alternate Voices and Unconventional Choices
Amidst the speaker fight, Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., cast a protest vote for former speaker John Boehner, drawing applause from House Democrats. The possibility of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries becoming speaker has also been raised, although it is unlikely. While there are no requirements for the speaker to be from the majority party or even a member of Congress, Jeffries lacks the necessary support.
The Path Forward
The path forward in the speaker fight remains uncertain. The resolution to empower McHenry has gained attention but also sparked divisions within the Republican Party. House Democrats are closely monitoring the situation and are prepared to play a role in shaping the agenda if necessary. As the House continues to navigate this challenging process, it is essential to find a resolution that can unify lawmakers and move the House forward.
Read More of this Story at www.usatoday.com – 2023-10-19 16:44:06
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