The inability of House Republicans to vote for a new speaker has led to an impasse that reportedly has Rep. Kevin McCarthy floating a solution involving himself.
The California Republican, who was historically ousted as House speaker three weeks ago, may be suggesting that he retake the gavel and install Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) as an assistant speaker, according to an NBC News report. Jordan, who briefly threw his own hat into the ring, was unable to secure enough support from his colleagues in multiple votes.
On Tuesday, the House Republicans supported the latest speaker nominee, Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., just after House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., withdrew his name after being chosen as the nominee. With the ensuing chaos of being without a GOP leader in the House and amid the pressing issues facing the nation, the idea of McCarthy being reinserted was reportedly being floated.
“We’re desperate,” replied one Republican lawmaker after being asked why the idea had been broached, NBC News reported.“Kevin speaker, Jordan assistant speaker.”
But Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., who joined a handful of Republicans to vote out McCarthy, said “That’s a bad idea. Where is that even allowed?”
However, Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., was open to the idea of a McCarthy-Jordan speakership.
“Well, if we get to that, it’s not a bad thing,” he said. “I’ll take a good look at it.”
According to reporters Ali Vitali and Scott Wong, the “proposal lacks key details, including how it would be enacted. It is also unclear whether it could gain enough traction to be enacted by the Republican majority in the House.”
“While the idea might seem far-fetched — it has not been pitched broadly within the GOP Conference — it is being discussed among some Republicans after Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, the third GOP nominee for speaker, dropped his bid Tuesday just hours after he secured the nomination,” they wrote in the NBC report.
“A source briefed on the proposal likened it to the arrangement Democrats had when Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was speaker and Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., was assistant speaker,” they added.
They claimed that during Tuesday’s meetings, McCarthy was “melting down” due to “losing his ability to handpick a new speaker.”
Sources claimed that behind closed doors, McCarthy had two “outbursts” as the GOP moved to nominate Johnson once Emmer announced he was not moving forward with his bid.
“This isn’t how you elect a speaker!” McCarthy had allegedly declared, according to one lawmaker.
The report noted that a spokesperson for McCarthy declined to comment when asked about the issue.
Vitali’s reporting on the idea of a McCarthy and Jordan duo provoked an on-air laugh-fest on MSNBC’s “The Reid Out.”
.@JoyAnnReid & @TimODC react to @alivitali‘s new reporting conducted w/Scott Wong on GOP speakership quandary: “There is now a push being floated by former speaker Kevin McCarthy to be reinstalled as Speaker McCarthy alongside Jim Jordan as the assistant speaker” #TheReidOut pic.twitter.com/0EHhDYMnPf
— The ReidOut (@thereidout) October 25, 2023
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who effectively spearheaded the effort to oust McCarthy, seemed to be happy with the nomination of Johnson on Tuesday.
“He talks about single-subject spending bills being the organizing principle in the House of Representatives. That is what I’ve been fighting for since January,” Gaetz told reporters of Johnson. “It is the reason Kevin McCarthy was vacated and despite the swamps, best efforts, we got a good godly man who’s going to advance Republicans.”
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