Republicans Struggle to Unite Around Speaker Candidate Amid Deep Division
Amidst deep uncertainty in the House of Representatives, Republicans are facing challenges in finding a candidate for speaker. Less than half of House Republicans have publicly supported either Representative Steve Scalise or Representative Jim Jordan, the leading candidates to replace former Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Complicating matters, supporters of McCarthy are considering a vote to reinstate him.
The internal divisions within the GOP are evident, which could result in a prolonged race and a drawn-out fight on the House floor. The House has been paralyzed since right-wing Republicans successfully removed McCarthy from his position, leaving Congress concerned about the ability to take action, particularly in supporting Israel in the wake of the recent invasion by Hamas.
Urgency to Elect a New Speaker
Representative Michael McCaul emphasizes the urgent need to elect a new speaker in light of the attack on Israel. He stresses that the House must act quickly as the world is closely observing the situation, and a dysfunctional democracy sends a negative message. However, McCaul expresses concern that a three-way race may not result in a majority of Republican support, complicating the decision even further.
Differing Perspectives on the Direction of Leadership
Representative Steve Scalise, standing strongly with Israel, emphasizes the importance of the House getting back to work. On the other hand, supporters of Representative Jim Jordan argue that recent events demonstrate the need for a new leadership direction that aligns better with the party’s base. Representative Byron Donalds supports Jordan, suggesting that a reevaluation of leadership is necessary.
While many members remain undecided or unwilling to endorse a candidate, Representative Daniel Crenshaw appreciates the opportunity to hear specific answers during the candidates’ forum. The closed-door meeting of House Republicans on Monday also saw criticism directed towards the eight Republican rebels who voted to remove McCarthy from his position.
Disapproval of McCarthy, Support for Alternatives
Representatives Matt Gaetz and Tim Burchett, two of the eight Republican rebels, express their willingness to support the candidate backed by the majority of Republicans. However, they firmly state their refusal to support McCarthy’s return, citing his untrustworthiness while in leadership. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who aligns with McCarthy, believes his return would be beneficial and expresses her dissatisfaction with his removal.
Possible Changes in Party Rules
Prior to the vote, Republicans are discussing potential changes in their internal party rules. These changes aim to prevent a repeat of the challenges faced during McCarthy’s speakership. One proposed change would make it more difficult to remove a sitting speaker, while another would require a near-unanimous vote among party members before nominating a candidate for speaker.
Moving Forward and Overcoming Differences
Regardless of the outcome of the leadership fight, Representative McCaul calls on fellow Republicans to set aside their differences. He highlights the violence in Israel as a reminder of the importance of unity and the need for a functioning House. Without a speaker, the House is paralyzed and unable to take any action.
Read More of this Story at www.nytimes.com – 2023-10-10 23:35:24
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