Washington, Oct. 24 (EFE) – Congressman Tom Emmer, the Republican Party’s “number 3” in the United States House of Representatives, withdrew his candidacy for speaker on Tuesday afternoon, a few hours after being nominated, following the rejection of former US President Donald Trump and his acolytes.
The Minnesota representative told his colleagues in a closed-door meeting that he would not ultimately choose to lead the lower house because he had no chance of passing the vote in the plenary session, local media reported.
Emmer, 62, had been nominated four hours earlier in an internal election by the Republican caucus, beating eight other candidates.
However, he quickly faced criticism from the party’s most radical members, who said he was not conservative enough.
The decisive blow was given by Trump, who has great influence on the party and who warned on social networks that the election of Emmer would be a “tragic mistake”.
“I have many wonderful friends wanting to be Speaker of the House, and some are truly great warriors,” Trump wrote on Truth Social Tuesday afternoon.
“RINO Tom Emmer, who I do not know well, is not one of them,” the former president added.
Emmer recognized President Joe Biden’s electoral victory against Trump in 2020, supported a bill in September to avoid a government shutdown, is in favor of gay marriage and supports the shipment of weapons to Ukraine, which distances him from the most radical wing of his party.
After his withdrawal, a new period was opened to request Speaker candidacies in which six congressmen presented, including Mike Johnson, Byron Donalds and Kevin Hern, who were close to Emmerson in the previous vote.
The Speaker’s position has been vacant since fellow Republican Kevin McCarthy was ousted on October 3 at the request of the party’s ultra-conservative wing.
Since then, Emmer is the third candidate to fail due to the internal fracture of the Republican Party.
Congressman Steve Scalise was nominated, but was never brought to the floor for a vote due to lack of support.
Jim Jordan, who succeeded him, withdrew from the race on Friday after losing three votes on the floor, where several members of his own party turned their backs on him.
The Republicans have a slim majority in the House, with 221 seats to the Democrats’ 212, so the speaker candidate cannot afford to lose more than four votes from their own ranks.
Until a new Speaker is elected, no new resolutions or bills can be passed at a time when approval of new military aid to Ukraine and Israel is up in the air.
Democrats have criticized in recent days that the conservatives have turned the legislature into a circus. EFE