US House Speaker: Which Lawmaker Will Round Up Enough Votes To Replace McCarthy?
For Republicans, it’s a question with no clear answer: Who might replace Kevin McCarthy as US House Speaker? The California Republican was ousted last week, just days after he worked with House Democrats to pass a stopgap funding bill to avert a government shutdown.
It’s not at all certain if any of the GOP candidates will be able to round up enough votes – 218, if all lawmakers are present and voting – to ascend to one of the most powerful positions in government, second in line to the presidency.
McCarthy’s chaotic election as speaker in January took 15 punishing rounds and left him in a weakened position that contributed to his abrupt removal. Now, top Republicans want party members to kick off the process in private before a floor vote.
Republicans on Tuesday plan to work it out at an evening forum where candidates can address their colleagues. The real contest could come as soon as Wednesday. Democrats will also vote but Republicans have a slim majority and hold the power to choose the next speaker.
A Look At Lawmakers Vying To Replace Kevin McCarthy
Rep Steve Scalise of Louisiana, now the top-ranking Republican in the House, brings years of experience in leadership. But he is dealing with multiple myeloma, raising questions for some about whether he can take on the demanding position of speaker.
Rep Jim Jordan of Ohio, a founder of the House Freedom Caucus, had been a key McCarthy advocate since Republicans regained the majority. He was also one of Donald Trump’s closest allies when Trump was the president.
Rep Kevin Hern of Oklahoma leads the Republican Study Committee and has a reputation as a policy-focused lawmaker. Compared with Scalise and Jordan, Hern has not been in the House for long. But he points to his experience in the business world as an asset.
Meanwhile, Democrats are uniting around Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York as their choice for House Speaker, just as they did in January. It remains to be seen which candidate will be able to round up enough votes for the key position in government.