House Republicans to Select McCarthy Replacement in Closed-Door Vote

By Jerry McConway, updated on October 11, 2023

With the attack on Israel, the urgency of getting a new Speaker has been raised considerably.

On Wednesday, the GOP House caucus announced it would hold a closed-door session to make their pick.

Talking Points…

  • The candidates
  • GOP House comments
  • My Two Cents…

The Candidates

This race has now come down to two people.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) has been endorsed by Trump, but that has still not moved him up as the favorite in this race.

Jordan will be an easy vote for most Republicans. I also believe conservatives will fall in line with him because of his no-nonsense attitude.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-MO) is the other candidate in this race, and he is right there with Jordan in terms of support. In fact, he now claims that he has the lead in the race.

Win or lose, however, Scalise has already addressed the caucus on supporting the eventual nominee.

I think Scalise would be more diplomatic with the White House and Democrats, which is surely something the caucus will consider during this vote.

UPDATE 1:05 p.m. CDT: The GOP caucus has voted by secret ballot and selected Rep. Steve Scalise (R-MO) as its candidate. Scalise won the ballot with a very narrow 113-99 vote. 

GOP Reaction

I was actually surprised to see some of the comments coming from House members on this.

I would have thought having a new Speaker by the end of the week would have been automatic, but that is apparently not the case.

Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) stated:

"I don't know if, by the end of this week, we will have a speaker. If you were to ask me a couple of days ago, pre-Israel being horrifically attacked by Hamas, I would have told you that it would have been a month before we had a speaker."

Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.) was also not hopeful this would come to a quick conclusion.

He stated:

"I think there's some [lawmakers] that have some problems with past behavior and each other, and so I think it's going to take more than one day to get this done."

My Two Cents…

While I see this being a close race, I am a bit more optimistic than these members of Congress.

I think the vote will be taken, and whoever loses will immediately support the other candidate and demand everyone fall in line.

The real issue here is Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

There are bound to be a few holdouts who want him back in there, but McCarthy needs to step up and tell them to knock off the nonsense.

If he does that, I have little doubt we will have a new Speaker in place before the end of the week.

With the attacks against Israel, this is no time for grandstanding and posturing. Elect a Speaker and get back to business.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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