Washington, Oct 24 (EFE). – The Republican Party on Tuesday elected its “number three” in the United States House of Representatives, Minnesota Congressman Tom Emmer, as its new candidate for Speaker of the House.
Emmer, 62, beat out eight other Republicans for the position, which has been vacant since fellow conservative Kevin McCarthy was ousted on October 3 after ultra-conservative Matt Gaetz filed a motion against him.
The lawmaker has been in Congress since 2015 and has been the “number three” Republican in the lower house since January, when the new congressional cycle began after the November 2022 midterm elections.
Emmer, a member of the Republican Party’s disciplinary committee, was the highest-ranking of the nine candidates who initially registered.
He promised in his announcement to be “honest and direct” and not to make proposals that cannot be achieved.
Emmer had supported the other two candidates who had officially run before: the “number two”, Steve Scalise, and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee in that chamber, Jim Jordan.
The former withdrew before even bringing his candidacy to the floor of the House when he realized he did not have the votes.
Jordan, who succeeded him, submitted to three elections last week, in which about twenty of his colleagues refused to support a representative of the Republican wing closest to former President Donald. Trump (2017-2021).
Of the nine candidates who later tried to win the nomination, Emmer and Austin Scott were the only two who voted to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Democrat Joe Biden prevailed over Trump.
Emmer is also the only one in favor of gay marriage, and one of four – along with Scott, Pete Sessions and Jack Bergman – in favor of continuing aid to Ukraine at a time when voices in that part say it should not be a “blank check”.
The interim Speaker of the House, Patrick McHenry, was appointed by McCarthy, but until a new Speaker is elected, no new resolutions or bills can be passed at a time when approval of new aid to Ukraine or Israel is still pending.
Democrats criticize conservatives for turning the legislature into a circus.
“At a critical moment when our allies are looking to us for leadership, MAGA House Republicans are making a mockery of our government and embarrassing the country on the world stage,”Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Sarafina Chitika said Monday.
The party’s nominee is its House Minority Whip, Hakeem Jeffries, who has won the support of his entire caucus in previous votes.
As of January, the Republicans had 221 seats and the Progressives had 212. The candidate needs 217 votes to win the position of speaker, but the internal boycott has prevented this vote since the beginning of the month. EFE mgr/mcd