Over the course of more than two hours on Tuesday night, Republican members of the House of Representatives met behind closed doors to hear final speeches from candidates for the position of speaker. Those who spoke were Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).
On Wednesday morning, the caucus will meet again behind closed doors to select a candidate, who will then be nominated on the House floor. While some Republicans were confident about finding a new speaker by the end of the week, others predicted it would take much longer.
“Very difficult” is how North Carolina Republican Representative Greg Murphy described the conference’s chances of resolving on Wednesday morning, saying he doubted they’ll be able to finish in a day. Murphy expressed some regret that the voting process hadn’t gotten underway sooner.
Florida Republican Rep. Kat Cammack expressed similar skepticism that a new speaker would be chosen this week. She alluded to former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s tumultuous January election by asking the candidates whether any “backroom deals” were being made in exchange for support.
Cammack said for the past ten months, they have been hearing about nothing but “backroom deals” and promises that have been made and broken.
She had questions for the candidates: Have you ever been asked for your support in exchange for a favor? If so, can you describe it?
Cammack said only one candidate came out and stated they’ve flat-out informed people who come to them with demands that they won’t be granted. That, to her, was a telling statement.
She identified Jordan as the potential candidate.
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), who is backing Jordan, has declared that she will support either of the two finalists.
The House Republicans will vote on a rule to change the requirement for selecting a speaker candidate from a simple majority of the conference to 217 members, a full House majority, tomorrow at 10 a.m.