Republicans Push For Speaker Nomination Rule Change: Report – Rolling Stone

mccarthy speaker gop rule change

GOP lawmakers are pushing to raise the threshold of party support required for a Speaker nominee before allowing a floor vote, Politico reports

A contingent of Republicans is reportedly attempting to raise the threshold of support needed within the GOP caucus before a candidate’s nomination as House Speaker can be brought to a floor vote. 

Following Tuesday’s ouster of Speaker Kevin McCarthy, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and a small cohort of allies, Republican representatives tell Politico they’re seeking to avoid another public display of GOP disunity. One of the ways they’re reportedly moving to avoid further embarrassment is pushing to change the rule requiring a two-thirds vote among caucus members to approve a Speaker nominee. Instead, they want to raise the vote threshold to 218, the amount needed for an outright election in a full vote. 

Republicans hold one of the slimmest majorities in the history of the lower chamber, so even a small cohort of dissenters could block the election of a new Speaker. This is what happened in January, when it took 15 votes to elect McCarthy to the position. The days-long spectacle was humiliating for the party, with some members nearly coming to blows on the House flow. 

“What it boils down to is: Are we going to square everything away in the locker room before going onto the field?” one anonymous Republican lawmaker told Politico. We don’t want a “repeat of January,” another member said. 

Three Republican representatives have submitted themselves as candidates for the position: Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Steve Scalise (R-La.), and Kevin Hern (R-Okla.). Former President Donald Trump has also been floated as a potential replacement for McCarthy, and has both indicated his willingness to serve in the position on a temporary basis and endorsed Jordan for the role. 


While House Republicans may want the battle to unify behind a single candidate to take place behind closed doors, it’s quickly on its way to becoming a public spectacle. Trump is reportedly considering an in-person visit to the Capitol to weigh in on the negotiations. Fox News was also reportedly going to host a televised debate between Jordan, Scalise, and Hern, although it seems that’s no longer happening.

“People already thought this seemed like a circus,” one GOP lawmaker told Politico in response to the news of a televised debate. “Now, we are proving it is.”

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