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House Republicans to choose a Speaker candidate

The House GOP meets behind closed doors to choose a candidate to be the next Speaker, but after the sudden dismissal of Kevin McCarthy, the question of a worthy replacement remains open, according to CNN.

So far, neither House Majority Leader Steve Scalise nor House Majority Leader Jim Jordan – the two declared Republican Party candidates – have garnered the 217 votes required to be elected speaker.

Wednesday’s meeting will follow a pre-arranged plan. Republican members will first vote to raise the threshold for the speaker nomination, after which they will formally nominate a candidate and give a brief speech.

Then, they will hold a secret ballot for nominations. If there are more than two, the candidate with the fewest votes will drop out of the race. Eventually, Republicans vote for the top two.

Until a new speaker is elected, the House of Representatives remains effectively paralysed after the unprecedented ouster of McCarthy, which gained relevance amid Israel’s war against Hamas.

The more time it takes for Republicans to elect a new speaker, the less time lawmakers have to avert a government shutdown as the funding deadline nears in mid-November.

House member Mike Garcia, a California Republican, argued after a candidate forum on Tuesday that there was a “50/50” chance of electing a speaker on Wednesday.

Following last week’s ouster, McCarthy announced that he would no longer run for Speaker of the House. However, his allies could still nominate him during a closed-door session, although McCarthy had advised them not to do so.

A candidate now needs 111 votes to win the Republican Party’s Speaker nomination, well below the threshold of 217 votes needed to win the gavel on the House floor.

The date of the vote to elect a new House Speaker remains unknown. It could happen as early as Wednesday if Republicans choose a candidate for their conference.

The timing is technically up to interim Speaker Patrick McHenry, but he is expected to submit to whomever the GOP nominee is, and the timing of the vote will be up to the Republicans instead.

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