Possible Successors to McCarthy as House Speaker: What Are Republican Demands for Their Vote?

by Andrew Wright
House Speaker Candidates

For the Republican Party, identifying a successor to Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker is a query that yields no definitive answers. Acquiring the requisite 218 votes to assume the role—assuming full attendance and voting—is a daunting hurdle for any GOP candidate. The role of House Speaker is especially critical, as it ranks second only to the President in the governmental hierarchy.

Leaders within the party, such as Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana and House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio, have initiated efforts to garner support through calls and text messages to fellow legislators. Another key figure to watch is Oklahoma Representative Kevin Hern, who chairs the Republican Study Committee, the largest Republican faction within the House.

McCarthy’s tumultuous election to the speakership, which took an exhaustive 15 rounds of voting, left him politically vulnerable, ultimately paving the way for his unprecedented removal from power. Senior Republicans are urging that internal discussions to decide the next speaker should occur behind closed doors, prior to a floor vote.

The selection process is set to formally commence on Tuesday with a private forum where aspiring candidates can present their cases to colleagues. An endorsement could follow, requiring only a majority vote. However, this decision could be postponed. Moreover, former President Donald Trump, the apparent GOP frontrunner for the 2024 presidential race, is reportedly planning a Capitol Hill visit aligned with this forum.

Profiles of Leading Contenders and Republican Demands

Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana

Scalise, a seasoned Republican leader, is an unswerving conservative and a logical choice for many within the party. His health, however, has become a topic of concern, as he is undergoing chemotherapy treatments for multiple myeloma. Despite this, Scalise maintains an optimistic outlook and has garnered favorable opinions from both moderate and far-right Republicans. His ties to former President Trump and his participation in controversies, such as voting against the certification of President Biden’s election win, make him a notable candidate.

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio

Jim Jordan, founder of the House Freedom Caucus, is a favorite among hard-line conservatives. A staunch Trump ally, Jordan is actively opposing the Justice Department’s actions against Trump and has been a crucial player in the GOP’s impeachment inquiries against President Biden. However, his refusal to cooperate with the House investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and past allegations regarding a sexual abuse scandal while coaching at Ohio State University could influence perceptions of his suitability.

Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla.

A relative newcomer, elected in 2018, Kevin Hern leads the Republican Study Committee and emphasizes his business acumen as a strength. Hern’s pragmatic approach could offer an alternative to the more divisive candidates, even though he too voted against certifying the 2020 election results.

Republican Demands

The successor to McCarthy will likely have to navigate a complex landscape of promises and expectations. Some Republicans are demanding a higher threshold for initiating a “motion to vacate” the chair, a rule change that contributed to McCarthy’s ousting. Additionally, other demands include steep cuts in government spending and defunding special counsel prosecutions against former President Trump.

In summary, the selection process for the next Republican House Speaker is replete with complexities, potential candidates, and underlying demands. Amid these dynamics, a decision is pending and will most likely be closely scrutinized.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about House Speaker Successor

Who are the leading contenders to replace Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker within the Republican Party?

The leading contenders are Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana, House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio, and Oklahoma Representative Kevin Hern. Scalise is seen as a veteran conservative with years of leadership experience, while Jordan is a favorite among hard-line conservatives. Hern, a newer member elected in 2018, emphasizes his business acumen as a key strength.

What is the minimum number of votes needed to become the House Speaker?

To become the House Speaker, a candidate needs a majority of the votes from the full House of Representatives, which means at least 218 votes are required, assuming all lawmakers are present and voting.

What process is the Republican Party using to select their candidate for House Speaker?

The party plans to hold a private forum where candidates can present their cases to their colleagues. Following this, an endorsement could be made based on a simple majority vote among the Republicans.

What are the key demands Republicans are making of their potential Speaker candidates?

Some Republicans are demanding a higher threshold for initiating a “motion to vacate” the chair, a rule change that contributed to McCarthy’s ousting. Additional demands include steep government spending cuts and defunding certain special counsel prosecutions against former President Trump.

Is former President Donald Trump involved in the Speaker selection process?

Yes, Donald Trump is reportedly planning a visit to Capitol Hill aligned with the private forum for potential Speaker candidates. His endorsement could significantly influence the race, although he has not made an official statement yet.

What health challenges is Steve Scalise facing?

Steve Scalise is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments for multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer. This has raised questions about his ability to manage the demanding role of House Speaker.

What controversies are associated with Jim Jordan?

Jim Jordan has been criticized for his refusal to cooperate with the House investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack. He also faced allegations in 2018 that he ignored complaints about sexual abuse while coaching wrestling at Ohio State University, though he has denied these claims.

Who is Kevin Hern and what makes him a noteworthy candidate?

Kevin Hern is a Representative from Oklahoma who leads the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative group in the House. Elected in 2018, he has not served as long as the other leading candidates but emphasizes his business experience as a key strength.

More about House Speaker Successor

  • Kevin McCarthy’s Political Career
  • The Role and Powers of the House Speaker
  • Steve Scalise’s Congressional Profile
  • Jim Jordan’s Controversies and Influence
  • About the Republican Study Committee
  • Understanding the ‘Motion to Vacate’ Rule
  • Donald Trump’s Role in GOP Politics
  • 2024 Presidential Election Speculations
  • Multiple Myeloma and its Impact on Scalise’s Role
  • January 6 Capitol Attack Investigation

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Sara Johnson October 6, 2023 - 5:38 am

Kevin Hern is the dark horse here, in my opinion. Not much political baggage and a business background could appeal to a lot of folks.

John Smith October 6, 2023 - 8:10 am

Wow, the GOP is really at crossroads, huh? Scalise’s health and Jordan’s controversies make it anybody’s game. can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

Emily Williams October 6, 2023 - 1:55 pm

This article is packed with details. Good to know what’s happening behind those closed doors. But kinda scared about the demands they’re making. are they serious about defunding?

Mike Davis October 6, 2023 - 9:05 pm

So the Dems are basically out of the equation? Guess they’ve gotta play defense for now.

Nancy Lewis October 6, 2023 - 11:53 pm

Seriously, they’re still arguing about the 2020 election? Come on, it’s time to move on and address real issues.

Robert Brown October 7, 2023 - 2:54 am

I feel like whoever gets Trump’s endorsement is gonna have a huge leg up. Though that’s kind of a double-edged sword these days, isnt it?


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