House Republicans continued their struggle to elect a new speaker on Friday, rejecting a proposal that required their candidate to secure 217 votes in conference before moving to a floor vote. With a slim 221-212 majority in the House and no speaker since Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s removal on October 3rd, the GOP has faced challenges in finding a unifying replacement.
Earlier in the week, conservative Rep. Chip Roy of Texas and moderate Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania attempted to amend the rules, temporarily raising the threshold for a nominee to the full 217 votes instead of just requiring a majority within the Republican conference. The proposed change was voted down on Wednesday.
Additionally, other proposed internal rule changes, including one by Rep. Kat Cammack of Florida to mandate 80% support from within the ranks for any speaker candidate, were also rejected by the Republican conference.
Following Majority Leader Steve Scalise’s withdrawal from the race after failing to secure enough votes, attention turned to Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the only declared candidate. Jordan, who lost 113-99 to Scalise in the previous closed-door Republican vote, lacks the support needed to win on the floor. Some Republicans, including Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, a Jordan supporter, emphasized the challenge of uniting 217 Republicans behind a candidate without a public vote.
The House Republicans were slated to continue private meetings later on Friday afternoon, during which Jordan was expected to address the conference in a bid to garner further support.