Today on the Hill: The latest developments on Capitol Hill

Today on the Hill with Mitchell Miller 20231106

WTOP Capitol Hill Correspondent Mitchell Miller follows all the developments in Congress.

 

Congressional Gold Medal proposed to honor abolitionist Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass
This undated file image shows African-American social reformer, abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass. Douglass was the country’s most famous black man of the Civil War era, a conscience of the abolitionist movement and beyond and a popular choice for summing up American ideals, failings and challenges. (AP Photo, File)

The legacy of abolitionist Frederick Douglass played a significant role in the creation of Black History Month, which takes place each February, the month that he was born.

Now, 129 years after his death, a Maryland congressman is seeking to honor Douglass with the Congressional Gold Medal, which is the legislative body’s highest national expression for distinguished achievement.

Douglass died on this day — Feb. 20, 1895 — at his home in Cedar Hill, in D.C.’s Anacostia neighborhood.

Rep. Glenn Ivey, D-Md., has introduced the bill to posthumously give the medal to Douglass.

Read full story here. 

Worries grow about ‘reckless’ government shutdown amid House GOP dysfunction

Congress Mayorkas Impeachment
House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., stands outside his office during a meeting with the Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, Amir Ohana, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The next deadline for a government shutdown is less than two weeks away, but Congress will be gone until nearly the end of the month, causing some lawmakers to send warning flares about another pending spending crisis.

The U.S. House ended its session on Thursday — a day early — after Republicans were unable to secure votes within their own party to address issues including government surveillance and tax cuts.

House members don’t return into session until Feb. 28 — just three days before the next partial government shutdown deadline on March 1.

Read the full story here. 

Senate passes $95B foreign aid bill. Will it die in the House?

It took several months and a marathon session that ended in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, but the Senate finally approved a $95 billion national security package, including aid for Ukraine and Israel.

But House Speaker Mike Johnson has indicated he won’t bring up the sweeping legislation for a vote.

So, what happens now?

Read the full story here.

How former Gov. Hogan’s entry shakes up Maryland Senate race

Election 2024 Maryland Senate Hogan
FILE – Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan addresses supporters at the Maryland statehouse, Jan. 10, 2023, in Annapolis, Md. The former Maryland Governor announced Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, he will run for U.S. Senate, giving Republicans a prominent candidate who is well-positioned to run a competitive campaign for the GOP in a state that hasn’t had a Republican U.S. senator in 37 years. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s decision to run for the U.S. Senate creates the potential for a high-stakes race the state hasn’t experienced in decades.

It was 50 years ago that Democrat Barbara Mikulski lost to the last Republican U.S. Senator to serve in Maryland, Charles Mathias.

Read the full story here.

Flight fight — will Congress allow expansion at Reagan National?

United Airlines Window Seats
File – A United Airlines plane sits at a gate at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va., Nov. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Members of the Virginia and Maryland congressional delegations are vowing to fight a new effort to expand the number of flights in and out of Reagan National Airport.

The Senate Commerce Committee has decided to allow an additional five slots at the airport for long-distance flights.

U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia and U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland said they are “deeply disappointed” in the decision, which they said threatened to “overburden” the airport.

Read the full story here.

Bill that could open way to new DC football stadium advances in Congress

The old structure of RFK Stadium (WTOP/John Domen)

Legislation has moved ahead in Congress that would allow the redevelopment of the old RFK Stadium site and potentially clear the way for a new football stadium for the Washington Commanders.

The House Natural Resources Committee voted this week to advance legislation to allow D.C. to enter a 99-year lease with the National Park Service.

Read the full story here.

House GOP leaders: Senate border deal ‘waste of time’

Mayorkas Impeachment

The bipartisan U.S. Senate agreement on the southern border took months to reach, but it was only a matter of hours after its release that it was blasted by House GOP leadership and former President Trump.

The border deal would make some of the most significant changes to U.S. immigration policy in years.

Read the full story here.

Will Congress force Big Tech to do more to protect children online?

Social Media CEOs Testify
With people holding photos of their loved ones in the audience, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024, to discuss child safety. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Members of Congress are growing increasingly frustrated with Big Tech and what many lawmakers believe is lip service to concerns about how social media sites are impacting the mental health of children.

That was clear at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where the leaders of five major tech firms were pounded with questions from lawmakers this week.

Executives from Meta, TikTok, the platform ‘X,’ Snap and Discord testified.

These types of hearings have taken place several times in recent years — the CEO of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, had previously testified eight times.

But the latest hearing had a sharper tone, suggesting lawmakers are ready to do more this time around.

Read the full story here.

Senate intelligence chair ‘gravely concerned’ about election interference

Senate Worldwide Threats
Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing to examine worldwide threats at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades)

The chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee said he worries the U.S. is now less prepared than it was in 2020 for foreign adversaries sowing disinformation in the presidential election.

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., has closely monitored foreign efforts to meddle in U.S. elections since 2016, when it became clear Russia was using social media to spread disinformation designed to confuse American voters.

Read the full story here.

Congress approves temporary spending measure to avoid government shutdown

Congress Budget

Congress voted to approve a short-term spending bill to avoid a partial government shutdown Thursday, ahead of a Friday night deadline.

The House voted 314-108 to approve the continuing resolution. The House action came after the Senate voted earlier to approve the measure, 77-18 and now goes to President Biden for his signature.

The House moved up a vote to Thursday, due to concern about the forecast for snow in the Washington area, as lawmakers prepared to leave town.

House Speaker Mike Johnson needed help from Democrats to get the bill to final passage, since it required a two-thirds majority. A total of 107 Republicans voted for it, while 106 GOP lawmakers voted against it.

In the last vote for a continuing resolution in November, 93 Republicans opposed it. The previous spending measure was a so-called “laddered” continuing resolution, which extended funding to Jan. 19, as well as Feb. 2.

The current legislation is similar, with an initial deadline for four spending bills expiring March 1 and a second deadline for eight other spending bills on March 8.

Johnson initially indicated he wouldn’t support another short-term spending plan, given the opposition within his GOP conference. But he agreed with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to an overall top-line spending figure of close to $1.6 trillion and decided to stick with that agreement, despite sharp criticism from conservatives.

Congressional leaders hope to move on from the shutdown showdown to make progress on a separate, $110 billion supplemental, which includes aid for Ukraine and Israel.

President Biden met with lawmakers at the White House on Wednesday to discuss the foreign aid package, which would also include new reforms for the southern border.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he’s encouraged by progress in the border talks and support for foreign aid.

“I am more optimistic than ever before that we come to an agreement,” Schumer said after the meeting. “I put the chances at a little bit greater than half now, and that’s the first time I can say that.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he believes the aid package could be taken up as early as next week by the Senate. Many House Republicans remain opposed to more aid for Ukraine and are pressing Johnson to hold firm on policy changes for the border.

He reiterated after the White House meeting that his top priority is border reform.

“The House is ready to act but the legislation has to solve the problem,” Johnson said.

Senate approves stopgap spending bill to avoid shutdown; House vote next

Congress Year End
FILE – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., gives two thumbs up as the Senate votes to approve a 45-day funding bill to keep federal agencies open, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

The Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to approve a continuing resolution, the first critical step to avoid a partial government shutdown ahead of a Friday night deadline.

The vote was 77-18.

The deadline for current spending expires at 11:59 p.m. on Friday.

With approval in the Senate, the continuing resolution will need to be voted on in the House.

The House plans to take it up the legislation on Thursday as well, ahead of another winter storm expected to bring more snow to the Washington area.

Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus oppose the stopgap spending measure and plan to vote against it, arguing deeper cuts need to be made.

House Speaker Mike Johnson will need help from Democrats to get the bill to final passage, since it will require a two-thirds majority. In the last vote for a continuing resolution in November, 93 Republicans opposed it.

The previous spending measure was a so-called “laddered” continuing resolution, which extended funding to Jan. 19, as well as Feb. 2.

The current legislation is similar, with an initial deadline for four spending bills expiring March 1 and a second deadline for eight other spending bills on March 8.

Johnson initially indicated he wouldn’t support another short-term spending plan, given the opposition within his GOP conference.

But he agreed with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to an overall topline spending figure of close to $1.6 trillion and decided to stick with that agreement, despite sharp criticism from conservatives.

Congressional leaders hope to move on from the shutdown showdown to make progress on a separate, $110 billion supplemental, which includes aid for Ukraine and Israel.

President Biden met with lawmakers at the White House on Wednesday to discuss the foreign aid package, which would also include new reforms for the southern border.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he’s encouraged by progress in the border talks and support for foreign aid.

“I am more optimistic than ever before that we come to an agreement,” Schumer said after the meeting. “I put the chances at a little bit greater than half now, and that’s the first time I can say that.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he believes the aid package could be taken up as early as next week by the Senate.

Many House Republicans remain opposed to more aid for Ukraine and are pressing Johnson to hold firm on policy changes for the border.

He reiterated after the White House meeting that his top priority is border reform.

“The House is ready to act but the legislation has to solve the problem,” Johnson said.

Virginia senator’s bill would ban legacy college admissions

Election 2024 Virginia Senate
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill on July 21, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia is hoping to advance bipartisan legislation in Congress this year that would make major changes in the college admissions process.

The Democratic lawmaker and U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., are co-sponsors of a bill that would prohibit accredited colleges and universities from giving preferential treatment in admissions to children of alumni or those with ties to donors.

Read the full story.

Is a January government shutdown on the way?

Congress Budget
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., arrives at the Capitol as the House meets for a second day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, the former House Majority Leader, has seen a lot of government shutdowns during his long congressional career.

“I think there’s more than a potential,” he said in a recent interview with WTOP. “I think it may be more likely than less likely that we would shut down the government.”

Hoyer believes House Speaker Mike Johnson and Republicans have set the table for a shutdown, in part because there will be so little time to resolve major spending issues when the House returns on Jan. 9.

Read the full story.

Senate not ready to give up on border deal, including Ukraine and Israel aid

Congress US Ukraine Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center, walks with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., left, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., right, during a visit to Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

House members are now home for the holidays, but Senators are continuing to hammer away at an agreement on the Southern border, which would put an end to the impasse that’s holding up billions of dollars in aid for Ukraine and Israel.

A small group of lawmakers and staff members are working this weekend, trying to get to a deal on immigration issues that have vexed Congress for well over a decade.

Read the full story.

House votes to expel NY Rep. George Santos

Congress Santos
Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., leaves the Capitol after being expelled from the House of Representatives, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, in Washington. The House has voted to expel Santos following a critical ethics report on his conduct that included converting campaign donations for his own use, making him just the sixth member in the chamber’s history to be ousted by his colleagues. Expulsion requires support from two-third of the House. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

The House voted Friday to expel Republican Rep. George Santos of New York following the release of a blistering ethics report, making him just the sixth member in the chamber’s history to be kicked out by his colleagues.

The vote to oust him was 311-114, with two voting present. A two-thirds majority was required to expel him.

Two Democrats, along with 112 Republicans, voted against expulsion. One of them was Virginia Rep. Bobby Scott. The other was Rep. Nikema Williams of Georgia.

House Speaker Mike Johnson was among the Republicans who voted against expelling Santos.

Those who opposed expulsion pointed to the fact that he has not been convicted of any crimes. Santos has been indicted on 23 charges linked to campaign fraud. He has pleaded not guilty.

But many Republicans decided to vote to expel Santos, after the release of the House Ethics Committee’s report, which said Santos used campaign funds to pay for vacations, designer clothes and even Botox treatments.

Rep. Anthony D’Esposito was one of several New York Republicans who pressed for Santos to be removed from office.

“George Santos is a liar,” he said. “In fact, he’s admitted to many of them, who has used his position of public trust to benefit himself from day one.”

Despite encouragement from GOP leadership to resign, Santos refused, leading to the Friday’s vote.

Santos quickly left the Capitol and has said he will not return to Washington.

His ouster leaves Republicans with a slim 221-213 majority, meaning the defection of just four lawmakers on any GOP bill could prevent it from passing.

The governor of New York will need to set a date for a special election to replace Santos. Several people have already indicated interest in his seat.

Rep. George Santos poised to be expelled from Congress

Congress Santos
Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., faces reporters at the Capitol in Washington, early Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023. After a scathing report by the House Ethics Committee citing egregious violations, Santos could be expelled from Congress this week. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Embattled Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., said he would not step down ahead of a House vote on Friday that’s likely to lead him to become the first lawmaker to be kicked out of Congress in more than two decades.

Santos held a news conference Thursday outside of the Capitol, where he railed against a House ethics investigation that appears to have secured his fate. But aside from denying that he didn’t cooperate with the probe, he didn’t address the wide-ranging allegations against him.

The ethics probe, released before the Thanksgiving break, states that Santos used campaign funds to lavish himself on vacations, designer clothing and Botox.

Santos has complained that the investigation into his conduct has been a distraction from more important matters before Congress. Given that view, he was asked why he wouldn’t resign.

“Because if I leave, they win,” he said of his critics, who include fellow New York Republican lawmakers. “This is bullying.”

Santos has survived previous expulsion votes, but those came before the scathing ethics report that has changed the minds of many Republicans.

Still, the fact that Santos has not been convicted of a crime has given some lawmakers pause, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, who said this week he has “real reservations” about ousting him before he goes to trial.

Before the ethics report came out Santos was separately charged with 23 counts linked to campaign fraud, in a federal indictment. He has pleaded not guilty.

No Democrats are expected to vote against expelling Santos on Friday. A two-thirds majority of the House is required for his expulsion.

“The question that we should all be asking, is why is George Santos still around?” the House’s top Democrat Hakeem Jeffries said on Thursday.

Jeffries accused Republicans of trying to “coddle” Santos, even though he lied about virtually his entire background before getting elected to Congress.

Jeffries said the GOP was “playing footsie” with Santos because the House leadership needed his vote. If Santos is kicked out, Republicans will be down to a 221-213 majority, meaning just a handful of GOP defections on any bill could sink it.

House Republicans have had trouble getting even some of their own spending measures to the floor because of internal divisions.

After the release of the ethics report, Santos said he would not seek reelection, but he remained defiant on Thursday, arguing the House should not set a precedent with his expulsion.

He could become just the sixth lawmaker ever to be kicked out of Congress and the first who had not been convicted of a crime.

Rep. James Traficant, D-Ohio, was the last lawmaker to be expelled, in 2002. He had been convicted on federal charges including bribery, obstruction of justice and racketeering

House approves two-step spending bill to avert government shutdown

House Democrats joined Republicans to approve a short-term spending plan on Tuesday, the first step toward avoiding a government shutdown.

The vote was 336-95, with a large number of conservative GOP lawmakers opposing the “laddered” continuing resolution, which maintains current funding levels into next year.

The legislation includes two steps to keep federal funds flowing into the next year. It extends funding for several federal agencies through Jan. 19 and a second group would be funded through Feb. 2.

“It’s going to change the way we’ve done this,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said. “We have broken the fever. We are not going to have a massive omnibus spending bill right before Christmas. That is a gift for the American people.”

The Senate will need to approve the bill as well, ahead of a Friday midnight shutdown deadline.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has indicated that the Senate will approve it.

A vote to avert a shutdown at the end of September caused conservative House Republicans to oust former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and GOP lawmakers couldn’t decide on a new leader for more than three weeks.

Tensions flared at various points across Capitol Hill on Tuesday over various issues.

Rep. Tim Burchett, of Tennessee, accused McCarthy of hitting him in the back as he went by him in the Capitol. Burchett was one of eight Republicans who voted to force McCarthy out of the speakership. McCarthy denied he tried to do anything to Burchett.

“If I were to hit somebody, they would know I hit them,” McCarthy told reporters.

Separately during a Senate hearing, Sen. Markwayne Mullin, an Oklahoma Republican, got into it with Teamsters President Sean O’Brien.

Both men threatened to fight after Mullin read a comment the labor leader made about him on “X,” the social media platform. Mullin at one point got up from his seat, before Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders implored the two men to calm down.

The House hasn’t taken its normal legislative breaks over the past couple months, due in part to the impasse over the speakership, which led the lower chamber to shut down for almost all of October.

“I’ve been drinking from Niagara Falls for the last three weeks,” Johnson said, referring to his recent ascension to the speakership.

He expressed hope that the congressional passage of his short-term spending bill will allow lawmakers to go home to their districts over the Thanksgiving holiday and “cool off.”

“This place is a pressure cooker,” Johnson said.

House passes bill to avert government shutdown



JUST IN: WTOP’s Mitchell Miller reports from Capitol Hill on House passing bill to avoid shutdown



BREAKING: House passes bill to avert government shutdown as GOP Speaker Johnson relies on Democratic support for temporary funding.

Read the full story

House could take key step toward averting government shutdown

Congress Budget
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., meets with reporters ahead of a crucial vote on a continuing resolution to keep the government funded at its current levels, a measure not heartily supported by the hard right wing of his party, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

The House will vote Tuesday on a unique, short-term spending plan backed by House Speaker Mike Johnson that seeks to avoid a government shutdown this week.

The House will consider a “laddered” continuing resolution that includes two steps to keep federal funds flowing into the next year.

The continuing resolution extends funding for several federal agencies through Jan. 19 and a second group would be funded through Feb. 2.

“It’s going to change the way we’ve done this,” Johnson said. “We have broken the fever. We are not going to have a massive omnibus spending bill right before Christmas. That is a gift for the American people.”

But Johnson is going to need the help of Democrats to get the legislation passed — just as former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy did.

A vote to avert a shutdown at the end of September caused conservative Republicans to oust McCarthy and GOP lawmakers couldn’t decide on a new leader for more than three weeks.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus said Tuesday that they will vote against the new legislation, arguing it’s more of the same and doesn’t cut spending.

Under what’s known as suspension of the rules, the legislation will require a two-thirds majority of House lawmakers to pass.

Democratic leaders are not whipping against the bill and are expected to help provide the votes needed.

Congress needs to approve spending legislation to avoid a shutdown before a Friday midnight deadline.

House Speaker Johnson describes first few weeks of new position

Congress Foreign Aid
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., talks with reporters ahead of the debate and vote on supplemental aid to Israel, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Speaker Mike Johnson hasn’t had much time to adjust to the demands of his new leadership post, amid war in the Middle East, a fast-approaching government shutdown deadline and unabating feuds within his Republican conference.

But he’s had a relatively solid start, notching a legislative victory this week with approval of nearly $14.5 billion in aid for Israel, even if the legislation will hit a wall in the Senate.

During his first news conference, he was asked what it’s been like to quickly ascend to one of the most politically challenging jobs in Washington.

Read the full story here. 

House approves $14.3 billion in aid for Israel

The House has approved $14.3 billion in aid for Israel that seeks to help the U.S. ally in the intensifying war with Hamas.

The vote on Thursday was 226-196, with a dozen Democrats joining Republicans in voting for the GOP-backed measure. The legislation is not expected to be taken up in the Senate, where it faces strong opposition from Democrats.

The vote followed a debate in which Republicans and Democrats strongly agreed on the need to provide assistance to Israel during the war with Hamas. But Democrats sharply criticized Republicans for offering up legislation that included $14.3 billion in cuts to the IRS.

Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., argued House Speaker Mike Johnson had proposed partisan legislation at a time when Israel is in need of immediate help.

“He has constructed a political ‘gotcha bill,’” Hoyer said. “The majority tries to score political points at the expense of Jewish lives and the confidence of both our allies and enemies in our resolve and reliability.”

But Republicans said there was nothing politically cynical about the legislation, only a recognition that the U.S. needs to be more responsible in its spending.

“This supplemental aid to Israel is a necessary step,” said Rep. Max Miller, R-Oh. “Such aid will provide Israel with the critical resources it needs to defend itself and mount a response that will allow for the elimination of the threat of Hamas.”

Speaker Mike Johnson say Israel aid must stand alone

Congress Speaker
Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., walks to the senate side for lunch with Senate GOP members at the Capitol Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

House Speaker Mike Johnson is defending Republicans’ $14.3 billion stand-alone bill for aid to Israel and says he has no plans to alter the legislation’s corresponding cuts to the IRS.

“If Democrats in the Senate or the House or anywhere else want to argue that hiring more IRS agents is more important than standing with Israel in this moment, I’m ready to have that debate,” he said Thursday at his first news conference since becoming speaker.

The legislation calls for a cut of $14.3 billion in funding for the IRS.

But Democrats point out that a review by the Congressional Budget Office indicates that reducing funding for the IRS would add $12.5 billion to the federal deficit, due to a reduction in taxpayer revenue.

The House plans to vote on the Israel aid package on Thursday.

Senate Democrats and many Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, are also concerned about Johnson’s insistence that funding for Israel and Ukraine remain separate.

Johnson said Thursday that he wants to pair funding for Ukraine with border security.

While most Republicans want added resources to address issues at the southern border, McConnell has repeatedly said that the flow of military assistance to Ukraine must continue.

In the Senate, meanwhile, tension is rising over the hold on hundreds of military promotions by Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.

Fellow Republican Senators were visibly angry with Tuberville on the floor Wednesday night, telling Tuberville he’s endangering national security.

Tuberville has maintained a hold on nearly 400 military promotions, as a protest against the Pentagon’s policy that pays for the travel of military personnel if they go to another state to get an abortion.

At one point during the heated debate, Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, said Tuberville’s actions amounted to a “national security suicide mission.”

Sullivan and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, both unsuccessfully called up more than 60 military nominees for unanimous consent votes.

But each time, Tuberville objected.

Republicans have begun to publicly press Tuberville, in part because of concerns related to a new proposal from Democrats.

The proposal, which would need to be approved with Republicans’ support, would allow military promotions to be approved together — “en bloc” on a single vote.

Congratulations — or should it be condolences, Mr. Speaker?

Congress Maine Shooting

Newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson has gone from being a relatively unknown congressman from Shreveport, Louisiana, to the person who’s now second in line to the presidency.

Republicans shut down the House of Representatives for more than three weeks, amid infighting over who should become their new leader, choosing several more well-known GOP lawmakers as nominees — only to have them drop out or fail to get enough floor votes.

But just when it appeared they couldn’t agree on anyone, Rep. Mike Johnson quickly became their choice to get the gavel.

Read the full story.

Rep. Mike Johnson elected as House Speaker

Congress Speaker
Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks after he was chosen as the Republicans latest nominee for House speaker at a Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Republicans have ended a self-inflicted political crisis that lasted more than three weeks, electing Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., as the new House Speaker.

“Today is the day we get this done,” Rep. Elise Stefanik said Wednesday as she nominated Johnson on the House floor.

Unlike the previous ballots, in which Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, failed three times to get the votes he needed, Johnson was elected on the first ballot.

The vote was 220-209.

Johnson, 51, is the vice chair of the Republican conference and is serving his fourth term in Congress.

In terms of congressional leadership, he is one of the least experienced lawmakers in decades to rise to House Speaker.

Johnson has pledged to bring Republicans together, after weeks of infighting that left many GOP lawmakers angry and embarrassed over how their party looked as the war between Israel and Hamas has raged.

Learn more about the new House Speaker.

Voting underway to elect House Speaker

Can GOP finally end the House Speaker chaos?

Congress Speaker
Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., vice chair of the House GOP Conference talks to reporters as he arrives to the Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

After weeks of infighting, Republicans may be on the verge of ending an embarrassing and unprecedented struggle to elect a House Speaker.

Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana is the fourth nominee to be chosen by Republican lawmakers. But unlike the three others who failed to get the gavel before him, Johnson doesn’t appear to have a core of opponents ready to block him during a House floor vote.

The House is scheduled to convene at noon Wednesday to vote on the speakership.

Johnson, 51, is a conservative who helped support the legal effort for a challenge of state election results when former President Donald Trump claimed he won in 2020. He has served in the House since 2016 and is the vice chair of the Republican conference.

Johnson is known for focusing more on policy issues than other, more high-profile candidates who preceded him.

Appearing with fellow Republicans after he was nominated Tuesday night, he pledged to unify a GOP conference that’s been in disarray since the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy more than three weeks ago.

“Democracy is messy sometimes, but it is our system,” Johnson said.

When a reporter asked Johnson about whether he stands by his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, she was shouted down and booed by Republican lawmakers.

Republicans are exhausted after choosing three previous nominees for Speaker and failing to unify behind any of them. Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and Majority Whip Tom Emmer were all unable to get the backing needed to be elected.

Republicans are hoping to finally end a self-inflicted political crisis, created when GOP hardliners filed a motion for McCarthy to vacate the chair on Oct. 3.

Louisiana’s Johnson wins the nomination

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks to reporters after Republicans met to try and decide who to nominate to be the new House speaker, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Louisiana Republican Rep. Mike Johnson has been nominated as House Speaker. Johnson, vice chair of the Republican Conference, had finished second to Majority Whip Tom Emmer in the first closed-door vote on Tuesday.

He won the next vote Tuesday night, after Emmer withdrew. Emmer was the nominee for four hours, before pulling out of the race after it became clear he couldn’t get the votes he needed on the House floor.

Republicans have been unable to elect a House Speaker for three weeks, which many of them have publicly acknowledged is an embarrassment.

Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy lost the top GOP post after agreeing to a vote on a short-term spending bill that avoided a government shutdown. Eight Republicans voted to oust him and were joined by Democrats.

Lawmakers will need to pass spending legislation in the coming weeks, before the next shutdown deadline on Friday, Nov. 17.

Republicans put up 5 new candidates for House Speaker after Emmer drops out

APTOPIX Congress Speaker

A new candidate forum for House Speaker was being held Tuesday evening, after Majority Whip Tom Emmer dropped out of the race, only hours after he had been nominated.

The five candidates seeking the speakership are:

  • Rep. Byron Donalds, R-FL
  • Rep. Mike Johnson, R-LA
  • Rep. Mark Green, R-TN
  • Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-TN
  • Rep. Roger Williams, R-TX

Johnson finished second to Emmer in Tuesday’s earlier voting.

Emmer decided not to continue to seek the gavel after it became clear he wouldn’t get the votes on the House floor.

It has now been three weeks since former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was forced out of the post, after a motion to vacate that was supported by eight Republicans as well as Democrats.

Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer out as House Speaker nominee

APTOPIX Congress Speaker
Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., arrives as Republicans meet to decide who to nominate to be the new House speaker, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer is out as House Speaker nominee, WTOP Capitol Hill correspondent Mitchell Miller reports



The latest Republican nominee for House Speaker, Majority Whip Tom Emmer, has withdrawn in the race for the speakership.

His decision to pull out of the race comes only hours after he was elected over other candidates.

It had become apparent Tuesday afternoon that Emmer was opposed by enough GOP lawmakers to thwart his approval on the House floor.

He becomes the third Republican nominee to withdraw. The first was Majority Leader Steve Scalise. The second was Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who lost a closed-door confidence vote, after being defeated on three straight floor votes.

Emmer was criticized by former President Donald Trump on Tuesday, only days after the two spoke over the phone. Trump called him a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) on his Truth Social site.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Emmer — Republicans choose Minnesota congressman in third attempt at picking House speaker

Congress Speaker
Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., arrives for a Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


WTOP’s Mitchell Miller reports from Capitol Hill on the latest nominee for House Speaker



Two candidates left in House Speaker race as candidates dwindle

Two Republican candidates remain for the nomination of House Speaker — Majority Whip Tom Emmer and Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson.

Rep. Kevin Hern, of Oklahoma, was eliminated on the latest ballot. Rep. Byron Donalds, of Florida, voluntarily dropped out.

During a series of votes behind closed doors, members of the Republican conference have been steadily reducing the number of candidates for the speakership.

Once a nominee is chosen, he must still get enough votes on the House floor to be elected.

Scott eliminated from House Speaker race

The number of Republican candidates for House Speaker has been cut to four. Rep. Austin Scott, of Georgia, was eliminated on the latest ballot.

Scott had previously run for Speaker against Rep. Jim Jordan, of Ohio.

The four candidates left are:

  • House Majority Whip Tom Emmer
  • Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla.
  • Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla.
  • Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La.

Sessions, Bergman eliminated from House Speaker race

Congress Speaker
Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, arrives as Republicans meet to decide who to nominate to be the new House speaker, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

As Republican lawmakers meet in a closed-door vote to pick their nominee for House Speaker, two representatives have already been eliminated.

The first lawmaker to be eliminated was Texas Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas. Of the candidates in the race, Sessions had the longest tenure in Congress.

Rep. Jack Bergman, of Michigan is the latest candidate for House Speaker to be eliminated.

There are now five remaining candidates, including:

  • House Majority Whip Tom Emmer
  • Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla.
  • Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla.
  • Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La.
  • Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga.

Palmer drops out as House Republicans meet again to nominate a new House speaker

Rep. Mark Alford, R-Mo., left, and Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., arrive as Republicans meet to decide who to nominate to be the new House speaker, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Republicans returned behind closed doors on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning to select from seven candidates who are seeking to become the next House Speaker.

WTOP learned Tuesday morning that Rep. Gary Palmer of Alabama dropped his bid, after he was one of eight candidates who made their pitches to the GOP conference Monday night as Republicans try once again to choose their leader.

The election comes exactly three weeks since former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted, after eight conservatives voted for a motion to vacate the chair, along with Democrats.

McCarthy has endorsed House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, who is considered the frontrunner for the speakership.

Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., chair of the Republican Study Committee, is also considered a top candidate.

The field was trimmed more, when Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Pa., dropped out of the race Monday night.

Other candidates include: Reps. Byron Donalds, R-Fla.; Mike Johnson, R-La.; Austin Scott, R-Ga.; Pete Sessions, R-Texas, and Jack Bergman, R-Mich.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is no longer a candidate, after losing three straight House floor votes last week.

Republicans try again to choose House speaker

Congress Speaker
FILE—House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., center, is flanked by Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., the temporary leader of the House of Representatives, left, and Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, right, as lawmakers convene to hold a third ballot to elect a speaker of the House, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Oct. 20, 2023.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Republicans will try again to choose a new House Speaker, nearly three weeks since the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Nine GOP lawmakers are seeking the speakership and will each make their case to the Republican conference during a candidate forum Monday, which begins at 6:30 p.m.

Republicans plan to vote on a nominee on Tuesday morning.

The leading candidate is widely considered to be House Minority Whip Tom Emmer, who is well-respected and has the supporter of McCarthy.

But Emmer is reportedly not the favorite of former President Donald Trump, who had backed Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. Jordan is no longer seeking the speakership, after losing three straight floor votes last week.

In addition to Emmer, these are the GOP candidates:

  • Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Ohio, chair of the Republican Study Committee. Hern built a large group of McDonald’s franchises before getting elected to Congress. Along with a letter to lawmakers urging their support on Monday, he sent burgers from McDonald’s.
  • Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla. The youngest candidate at 44, he’s received some votes in previous Speaker ballots. Donalds is a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
  • Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga. A surprise candidate who ran against Jordan for the GOP nomination last week.
  • Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La. Johnson is a former chair of the Republican Study Committee.
  • Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala. Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee and played football at Alabama, after making the team as a walk-on.
  • Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas. Has served in the House for more than two decades. After losing his seat in 2018, he ran again in a different district and won in 2020.
  • Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Pa. A former businessman and served as Pennsylvania’s secretary of revenue.
  • Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Mich. Retired Marine Corps lieutenant general, who has presented himself someone who could help Republicans get back on course.

Analysis: House Republicans are a House divided

Republicans this weekend are no closer than they were at the start of the week to electing a House Speaker.

In fact, they are actually farther away — they don’t even have a nominee.

At least on Tuesday they were holding their first floor vote on Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).

Read more of this story.

Rep. Jim Jordan no longer running for House Speaker

Republicans decided Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan should no longer run for House Speaker Friday, after he lost his third-straight floor vote.

Lawmakers in the GOP conference voted by secret ballot behind closed doors. The vote was 112 to 86 for Jordan not to move forward as the nominee.

Jordan had indicated a willingness to keep fighting for the speakership with votes this weekend. But he had steadily lost more support with each succeeding vote this week.

Some lawmakers coming out of the meeting were frustrated and angry, while others said it’s time to find someone else who can become House Speaker.

New York Rep. Mike Lawler had been a vocal opponent of Jordan. And like many others, he said it’s time to start over.

“We obviously need to get 217 members to agree on who the next Speaker is going to be,” Republican Lawler said as he walked out of the closed-door meeting. “I would like this to be resolved, so we can get back to the work of the American people.”

Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Dan Meuser said he is considering running for the speakership. He had been a supporter of Jordan.

Several others are also now thinking about running, but it remains unclear whether the GOP can coalesce around anyone.

Lawmakers plan to return on Monday to regroup. By that time, it will have been nearly three weeks since former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted by eight Republicans, with help from Democrats.

McCarthy nominated Jordan on Friday, but his support didn’t help the Ohio lawmaker get any additional votes.

Republicans drop Jim Jordan as House speaker nominee

Republicans dropped Rep. Jim Jordan on Friday as their nominee for House speaker, making the decision during a closed-door session after the hard-edged ally of Donald Trump failed badly on a third ballot for the gavel.

Read the full story.

House Republicans reject Jim Jordan a third time for the speaker’s gavel as opposition deepens

Rep. Jim Jordan failed badly Friday on a third ballot for the House speaker’s gavel, rejected by even more Republicans from the conservative mainstream who warned the hard-edged ally of Donald Trump that no threats or promises could win their support.

Read the full story

Jim Jordan’s vote count to become House Speaker worsens

Read more by the Associated Press here.

Jim Jordan appears to fall short in House Speaker bid — again

Jordan faces third try for House Speaker, but does he have the votes?

Congress Speaker
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, House Judiciary chairman and staunch ally of Donald Trump, meets with reporters about his struggle to become speaker of the House, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Oct. 20, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is vowing to keep fighting to become House Speaker, though there is still no indication he’s close to getting the votes he needs.

“Our plan this weekend is to get a Speaker elected to the House of Representatives as soon as possible, so we can help the American people,” Jordan said at a news conference Friday.

A third vote on Jordan for the speakership is scheduled for 10 a.m.

Twenty Republicans voted against Jordan on the first vote and 22 voted against him on the second.

Jordan can’t lose more than four votes on a ballot to get elected.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said President Joe Biden’s supplemental request to Congress, which includes aid for Israel, is another reason the House needs to get back to work.

“We can’t vote on that, can’t pass anything on that, until we get the House open,” Jordan said.

President Biden, who gave a national address Thursday night to discuss the need for assistance to Israel and Ukraine, is expected to request a package of more than $100 billion.

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said despite the turmoil in the House, he believes Congress will eventually approve the assistance.

“The votes are there for Israel aid. The votes are there for more Ukraine aid. The votes are there for more border security,” he said. “The votes are there for all of it.”

But Kaine said it’s important that the Senate tackles the legislation ahead of the House, given the leadership vacuum in the House.

“I do think the right way for this to happen is for the Senate to act first, and show by a strong bipartisan vote, that we support this,” Kaine said.

GOP’s Jordan says he’s still running for House gavel, but plan for a temporary speaker falls flat

Refusing to give up, Rep. Jim Jordan told GOP colleagues Thursday he was still running for the House gavel — leaving Republicans few viable options after his hardline backers resisted a plan to expand the temporary speaker’s powers to re-open the House.

Read the story from The Associated Press.

Gearing up for a third vote after all?

No third House Speaker vote for Rep. Jim Jordan

APTOPIX Congress Speaker
Temporary House leader Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., talks with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, as Republicans try to elect Jordan in a second ballot to be the new House speaker, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

More twists and turns are underway in the political drama over Republicans’ efforts to choose a new House Speaker.

Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, has reportedly decided not to seek a third vote to become Speaker, after losing to previous votes this week. Republicans met Wednesday to discuss their next steps.

A plan is still evolving, but it calls for House Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry to be empowered as the acting Speaker, so that the House can begin taking up legislation again.

McHenry would temporarily oversee the House, possibly for a few months. That would allow lawmakers to again consider aid involving Israel and Ukraine, as well as spending issues that need to be resolved before a Nov. 17 government shutdown deadline.

Jordan would not withdraw from efforts to become Speaker. But this would provide Republicans more time to figure out who they want to be the party’s leader in the House.

Democrats would likely need to go along with the plan involving McHenry since some conservative Republicans oppose it.

The House has been paralyzed for 16 days, since the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Speaker GOP frustration

Republicans are scrambling to determine their next step, after Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, lost a second vote to become House Speaker.

He told reporters that no more votes were planned for Wednesday evening, but indicated it’s still possible another vote could come on Thursday.

Frustration is growing among GOP lawmakers, who have been unable to choose a new leader for 15 days, since the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Longtime Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., who nominated Jordan on Wednesday, noted that he had predicted bad things would happen, when a small group of Republicans supported pushing McCarthy out.

“Those who did this, whether intentionally or unintentionally, were going to put the Congress in a state of chaos and the country into a state of uncertainty,” he said, referring to remarks he made earlier this month.

“I think the last two weeks have vindicated that observation,” he said.

Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif., said Republicans’ closed-door meetings have become an unproductive “therapy session,” in which lawmakers vent but nothing gets accomplished.

He suggested that Republicans gather somewhere away from Capitol Hill and its distractions to focus on the important matter of choosing a new House Speaker.

Garcia noted that going to a historic site like Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, might provide a fresh start.

“Let’s dispense with all rules, dispense with all the protocols and all the B.S. that’s gotten us to this point,” he said. “Have big adult conversations in one room and figure out how we’re going to navigate this.”

Will 3rd time be the charm? Jim Jordan loses second vote to become House Speaker

Read the story from The Associated Press.

Heading for defeat: House poised for third round of voting for new Speaker

A losing 2nd round? More than a dozen GOP lawmakers vote against Jim Jordan

Jim Jordan to try again Wednesday in House Speaker election

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan will try again Wednesday to get elected House Speaker after his first attempt was thwarted by 20 fellow Republicans who voted against him.

The House vote is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Jordan had originally hoped to be elected as Speaker Tuesday night, but a second vote was postponed amid few signs he had picked up the necessary support.

The hard-charging chair of the House Judiciary Committee will need to greatly reduce the number of GOP lawmakers who opposed him on Tuesday if he’s to get elected.

Jordan can only afford to lose the support of four Republicans in order to get the 217 votes he needs.

Jim Jordan to fight another day: House delays Speaker vote to Wednesday

Congress Speaker
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is followed by reporters as he walks to his office at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)


Capitol Hill correspondent Mitchell Miller on what Jim Jordan is doing going into the second vote on Wednesday



The second vote for House Speaker has been delayed to Wednesday at 11 a.m. Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan started the day optimistic that he would be able get the votes to become House Speaker. New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, chair of House Republican Conference, described him as an “America first warrior who wins the toughest of fights” in her nomination. But Jordan fell short, with 20 from his own party voting against him in the first round of balloting.

Jordan has been meeting with Republican lawmakers Tuesday afternoon, including Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, who was first nominated to the speakership last week before withdrawing his name when it became clear he would come up short.

Speaker turmoil: After Jordan fails in first vote, when will House take up voting again?

Jim Jordan fails to win House speakership on first ballot

Congress Speaker
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, stands and talks with Republican House Whip Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., as they discuss the tally of the first round of voting, as the House votes for a new speaker, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


Capitol Hill correspondent Mitchell Miller joins WTOP after the first vote for House Speaker, where Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan fails to garner enough support



Republicans have rejected congressman Jim Jordan for House speaker on the first ballot. More voting is expected as the staunch ally of Donald Trump works to shore up support and seize the speaker’s gavel. Not all Republicans are ready to elevate Judiciary Committee Chairman Jordan to the center seat of U.S. power, second in line to the presidency. About 20 Republicans voted against Jordan. Some are still upset over Kevin McCarthy’s sudden ouster as speaker two weeks ago. But with Trump’s backing, a win for the Ohio congressman would show just how far the GOP’s once far-right flank has moved into the party’s mainstream.

Read more from The Associated Press.

Not enough votes: More than a dozen Republicans vote against Jordan

‘No’ votes so far

NY Rep. Elise Stefanik formally nominates Jim Jordan for House Speaker

House in session; voting to begin

The House has been gaveled into session and voting will soon begin to determine whether Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan will be elected the new House Speaker.

The House began with a quorum call to determine the number of votes Jordan will need.

Why some lawmakers say they are not supporting Jordan

FILE – Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., speaks as the House of Representatives debates the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. (House Television via AP)

The House is about to vote on a new House Speaker and several Republicans said they will still not support Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan.

If five or more GOP lawmakers don’t vote for Jordan, he can’t be elected.

Florida Republican Rep. John Rutherford is among those who have said they won’t back Jordan. He remains upset over how Jordan handled the original vote, when Majority Leader Steve Scalise was elected the GOP nominee behind closed doors.

“I’m not voting for Jordan because he got beat by Steve Scalise in a free and fair election. And now Scalise is out and he’s our nominee? That’s not fair,” Rutherford said.

On the Democratic side, former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is wary of Jordan becoming Speaker.

“We need to come to grips with the fact that moving right for the Republicans has not worked,” the Maryland lawmaker said, noting that conservatives have often been unwilling to compromise.

Jordan has the endorsement of former President Donald Trump and was a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

House schedules vote to elect Rep. Jim Jordan as Speaker

Congress Speaker
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, speaks with reporters following a closed-door meeting with House Republicans as he looks for decisive support to become speaker, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The House plans to convene at noon Tuesday to vote on whether Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan will become the next Speaker of the House.

Jordan and his supporters have been trying to flip dozens of Republican lawmakers who indicated they wouldn’t support him during a closed-door vote last Friday.

Jordan has picked up several significant endorsements in the past 24 hours ahead of the vote, but he can only afford to lose four GOP votes if he’s to secure the speakership.

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted two weeks ago, when eight Republicans joined Democrats in forcing him out of the post.

Republicans choose Rep. Jim Jordan as their pick for House Speaker



Mitchell Miller on Capitol Hill



Try as they might, Republicans have been unable to meet the moment, repeatedly failing to elect a House Speaker. It is a crisis of their own making.

They did manage to choose a nominee for the speakership Friday — for the second time. Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan won a closed-door vote against an opponent who told reporters he had no plans to run for Speaker when he woke up Friday.

Rep. Austin Scott, of Georgia, said he ran against Jordan, in part, because he was so disgusted with the disarray in the GOP. He told CNN the race for Speaker had made Republicans look like “a bunch of idiots.”

Scott only lost 124-81, even though his campaign for Speaker was all of one day.

It remains to be seen if Jordan can get the needed 217 votes to get the gavel. Republicans, after a very bad and embarrassing week, have left Washington for the weekend and will regroup Monday.

Jordan got a second chance because House Majority Leader Steve Scalise — the original nominee — pulled out of the race Thursday night, after it became clear he didn’t have the votes to get elected. Jordan may encounter the same challenge.

What some Republicans have themselves called a “clown show” began 10 days ago, when they kicked out former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy — the first time that had happened in the history of Congress.

Since then, all legislative activity has been at a standstill. GOP energy has instead focused on debate and dysfunction within the Republican conference, unable to get everyone to agree on their own leader.

“The world’s on fire, our adversaries are watching what we do,” said Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Every day that goes by, it gets more dangerous.”

McCaul has been one of the most vocal critics of fellow Republicans for failing to choose a House Speaker at a time when the war between Israel and Hamas is raging.

“I see a lot of threats out there. One of the biggest threats I see out there is in that room,” he said, pointing to a room in the Capitol basement where fellow Republicans were meeting at the time.

Former Speaker McCarthy supports Jordan

Congress Speaker
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, arrives for a caucus meeting of Republican House members on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023 in Washington. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted from the post 10 days ago, says he’s supporting Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan to be the next speaker.

“I think Jim’s better prepared in the process to be speaker,” he said.

Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., is also seeking the speakership, though he’s indicated in comments to reporters that he’s running primarily to kick-start the process.

McCarthy lamented that the House has been at a standstill since he was kicked out of the top job in the lower chamber.

“This whole time we haven’t been able to follow through on our bills that we’re trying to get done. We haven’t been able to do investigations,” he said. “We’ve got 4% of the caucus that really wants to have chaos.”

Some GOP lawmakers have said they still support McCarthy for speaker, but he downplayed the possibility of him returning to his old job.

“Out of all of the folks that have thrown their hat into the ring, he is head and shoulders above the rest, in the majority that he’s able to put together,” said Rep. John Rutherford, R-Florida.

Rutherford is critical of fellow Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who triggered the motion to vacate, which led to McCarthy’s ouster.

Who is Rep. Austin Scott, the newest entrant in the race for House Speaker?

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 13: U.S. Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) speaks to reporters as House Republicans hold a caucus meeting at the Longworth House Office Building on October 13, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Georgia Republican was first elected to Congress in 2010 and is a conservative. He is not a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, helped to create.

Scott made it clear this week that he would not support Jordan, who’s again seeking the speakership.

Some view Scott’s candidacy as the potential for a protest vote against Jordan, which could include supporters of Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who dropped out of the race Thursday night.

Scott is a member of the House Intelligence Committee and the House Armed Services and has been active on military matters.

New speaker candidate enters the fray

After Scalise’s sudden exit from speaker race, Republicans again gather behind closed doors

Congress Speaker
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of La., talks to reporters as he announces he is ending his campaign to be the next House speaker after a Republican meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Republicans have again gathered behind closed doors on Capitol Hill to try to agree on a House Speaker, after Majority Leader Steve Scalise dropped out Thursday night, when it became clear he didn’t have the votes.

But it’s not clear anyone else can get the necessary 217 votes either.

Lawmakers returned Friday to the Longworth Building, to see if they can make any progress, in the midst of what many within the GOP admit has been an embarrassment for the party.

“If you look at where our conference is, there’s still work to be done,” Scalise said after ending his effort to become the next House Speaker. “There are still some people that have their own agendas and…and we have to have everyone put their agendas on the side.”

But that hasn’t happened yet.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan is going to try to become Speaker again, after narrowly losing the nomination to Scalise earlier this week.

But Jordan only received 99 votes in that closed-door contest — nowhere close to the votes he’ll need on the House floor.

The House has now been paralyzed, taking up no legislation for 10 days, since the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Meanwhile, issues including the war involving Israel and Hamas, aid for Ukraine and next month’s pending government shutdown deadline can’t be addressed while the House is at a standstill.

House Speaker drama continues

The U.S. House of Representatives has been paralyzed for more than a week, since the historic ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

While Republicans narrowly voted to make Majority Leader Steve Scalise their nominee this week, he still doesn’t have enough support to get approved as House Speaker on a floor vote.

Scalise can’t afford to have more than four GOP lawmakers vote for someone else, or he can’t get the 217 votes needed to get the House gavel. But at least a dozen Republicans have said they won’t vote for him and plan to support House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, who was defeated in the closed-door vote for the nomination.

The situation has frustrated many Republicans, who note the world is seeing a dysfunctional Congress, at a time when Israel — a key U.S. ally in the Middle East — is dealing with its most serious crisis in a half-century.

The situation is so unsettled that some Republicans have been exploring whether Rep. Patrick McHenry, who’s the Speaker Pro Tempore, could somehow preside over legislative activity.

McHenry, who’s an ally of McCarthy, is effectively the “acting” Speaker.

But there’s disagreement over what — if any — actual power he has in that role.

For now, the House remains at a standstill and is unable to take up a bipartisan resolution in support of Israel because the lower chamber is not functioning as a legislative body

When will the House vote on Steve Scalise as speaker?

Republicans nominated Majority Leader Steve Scalise on Wednesday to become the next House Speaker, as GOP lawmakers seek to end a self-imposed paralysis of Congress amid the worst Middle East crisis in decades.

Scalise was narrowly elected 113-99 Wednesday during a closed-door vote, over House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, who had been endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

The full U.S. House of Representatives must still vote to approve Scalise as Speaker, before any legislative action can be taken.

Read more

Republicans nominate Scalise

 

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up