The House Republican circus rolls on
It took five rounds of voting on Tuesday to make Tom Emmer of Minnesota the Republican nominee for speaker of the US House of Representatives … and about four more hours to persuade him his candidacy was doomed. Though he won a clear majority of House Republicans (117 of 221) in the final round of voting, he knew it wouldn’t be easy to earn the backing of 217 of 221 Republicans needed to win a majority of the full House.
That’s mainly because Emmer has a powerful Republican enemy: Donald Trump. Emmer voted to certify President Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential election victory, and Trump has sought revenge by waging an aggressive campaign to discredit Emmer within the GOP caucus. By late afternoon on Tuesday, Trump had tweeted his opposition, and the game was up. Emmer had bowed out.
Late Tuesday night, House Republicans then voted to make Mike Johnson of Louisiana their fourth nominee for speaker. Can he get the 217 votes needed to win the job?
If he too falls short, House Republicans may finally decide they’ve had enough of closed-door meetings and secret ballots, and decide instead to empower the current temporary speaker, Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, to serve for a specified period up to several weeks. That would allow the House to negotiate with Democrats on the budgetary questions needed to keep the government from shutting down next month and to consider bills granting aid to Israel and Ukraine.
Or, they could go back to square one and start voting all over again, and your GZERO Newsletter team can just keep writing this same story every few days.