House Republicans are set to resume their quest for a new Speaker of the House on Monday, a pivotal role that could influence the chamber’s approach to financial aid for Israel and Ukraine, as well as the formation of the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The renewed effort comes after internal disagreements led to the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy on October 3, stalling the ambitions of potential successors Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan.
The leadership void has had a palpable impact on Congress, which is under pressure to approve military aid packages for Israel and Ukraine and finalize a budget by November 17. “This is probably the biggest embarrassment I can remember,” lamented Republican Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, in an interview with ABC on Sunday. “We essentially stopped the government from working.”
Monday’s caucus meeting will feature nine declared candidates vying for the Speaker’s role. Seven of these candidates—Jack Bergman, Byron Donalds, Kevin Hurn, Mike Johnson, Dan Meuser, Gary Palmer, and Pete Sessions—have previously attempted to block the certification of the 2020 election results, which were lost by Donald Trump, according to CNN. Their actions on the day of the vote were accompanied by a storming of Congress by Trump supporters.
The remaining candidates, Tom Emmer and Austin Scott, did not participate in efforts to block the election’s certification. Given the slim majority that Republicans hold in the House, it remains uncertain whether any candidate will secure the necessary 217 votes to clinch the position.
When the full House votes, a candidate who falls short by even four Republican votes will fail to garner the required number of votes. Jim Jordan, who has thrice attempted to become Speaker, has consistently fallen short. Kevin McCarthy, however, has endorsed Tom Emmer, the House’s third-ranking Republican, citing his experience in securing party-line votes on major legislation since January, when Republicans regained the House majority. “This is not the time to learn new things in a new place,” McCarthy told NBC, although he acknowledged that Emmer faces an “uphill battle.”