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House Republicans will vote yet again

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer


For three weeks, the US House of Representatives has failed to function as Republicans fight over who should serve as speaker. The government will shut down in less than one month unless someone can win the 217 votes needed to lead the House and then advance a bill to fund the government, a bill that passes the Senate and earns the president’s signature. Bipartisan calls for aid to Israel and Ukraine are also held up until the majority of Republicans elect a speaker.

Later today, House Republicans will vote by secret ballot on eight new candidates from among their members. In alphabetical order, they are:

  • Jack Bergman (Michigan)
  • Byron Donalds (Florida)
  • Tom Emmer (Minnesota)
  • Kevin Hern (Oklahoma)
  • Mike Johnson (Louisiana)
  • Gary Palmer (Alabama)
  • Austin Scott (Georgia)
  • Pete Sessions (Texas)

Of these, Emmer, Donalds, Hern, and Johnson appear to have the best chance to win.

Emmer, who currently serves as majority whip, looks to have the broadest support, but former president/front-running GOP candidate Donald Trump adamantly opposes him. (Emmer voted to certify President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory. Of the other eight candidates, only Austin Scott joined him.)

In each round of voting, the lowest vote-getter will be dropped until there’s just one left. But as Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio have discovered, the winner of this process must go on to secure 217 of the 221 total Republican House members to become speaker.


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