After two House Republican Conference meetings today (without phones allowed), countless individual Member calls and meetings, hundreds of press and X hits, and no votes on the floor, House Republicans finished the day no closer to electing a Speaker of the House than when they started. Amidst this backdrop, Steve Scalise announced to the Conference this evening that he was withdrawing his name as the Republican Speaker nominee and would return to serving in his position as Majority Leader.
Yet another House Republican Conference meeting has been scheduled for 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. With Scalise withdrawing his candidacy, Jim Jordan is the next most likely candidate for the Speaker nominee role, but numerous other House Republican candidates could emerge and the timing of an actual nomination vote remains up in the air. Moreover, while the Speaker nominee remains a simple majority vote of the Conference, there will no doubt be a push to re-vote the Chip Roy amendment to Conference Rules that would require the nominee to reach 218 votes within the Conference before advancing to the House floor.
Meanwhile, Patrick McHenry continues to serve as Speaker Pro Tempore, a position created in the aftermath of 9/11 to ensure the continuity of Congress. While envisioned for a mass casualty attack, the provision has brought some stability to the current impasse. One possibility—should House Republicans continue to fail to coalesce behind a single candidate—is for the House to grant the Pro Tempore role additional authority. Though there would be pushback to allowing for the full authority of the Speakership, it is possible to create limited authorities, particularly in light of the crisis in Israel.
For now, the 10:00 a.m. House Republican Conference meeting tomorrow is all that is known. Votes could occur in the House tomorrow, though they are unlikely. It is also possible that Members remain in town this weekend to continue to work through the Leadership struggle.
We will continue to keep you updated.