It’s unclear whether the Minnesota congressman, the third-largest Republican in the House, can get the votes he needs.
Republicans in the United States House of Representatives picked Tom Emmer as their latest candidate for speaker, but ran headlong into the same internal divisions that have paralyzed the leaderless chamber for three weeks.
Emmer, who serves as the third-ranking Republican in the House, secured the nomination after five rounds of voting but appeared to be at least 20 votes short of the 217 he needed to win the gavel in a floor vote, lawmakers said on Tuesday .
“We’re going to have a discussion asking people to come to the microphone and explain what your position is,” Rep. Randy Weber told reporters Tuesday.
Asked how long such an effort might take, Weber joked: “Maybe until tomorrow morning, that’s what it sounds like. “I just want to know if he gets bed rolls, cinnamon rolls and coffee.”
The House of Representatives has been paralyzed for three weeks after Republicans took the unusual step of ousting their own speaker over internal disagreements, leaving the body unable to vote on key proposals while the U.S. grapples with war in Ukraine and faced in the Middle East.
The power struggles within the party, together with the narrow majority in the House of Representatives, have led to a deadlock that no candidate has been able to break.
Emmer won the last round of elections and prevailed against eight other candidates as the party’s candidate. But to secure the position, he must now win the support of 217 of the 221 Republicans in the chamber.
All 212 Democrats in the House of Representatives are expected to vote against Emmer, as it is unusual in U.S. politics for an opposition party to vote for the rival party’s candidate for speaker, leaving the Minnesota congressman with little room within his own caucus for disagreements.
The drama began on October 3, when a small faction of Republicans ousted former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Last week, far-right candidate Jim Jordan was disqualified from office after failing to secure a majority after three rounds of voting.
The weeks of unrest have created a political headache for the Republican Party as its Democratic rivals portray it as unable to carry out basic government functions while President Joe Biden’s administration faces rising tensions in the Middle East due to a war between Israel and Hamas.
“Washington, DC, needs a Republican voice now. We don’t have any,” Republican Rep. Kelly Armstrong told reporters. “This is not the fault of anyone but the Republican conference in the U.S. House of Representatives.”
Source : www.aljazeera.com