Rep. Tom Emmer won the internal House Republican nomination for speaker Tuesday after a series of closed-door votes.
Emmer (R-MN) received a majority of votes from House Republicans in the fifth round of a secret ballot. The Republican conference met Monday night to debate potential candidates. Members were left with four options: Emmer, the third-ranking House Republican; Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL); Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK); and Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA).
A candidate was removed from the ballot after each vote, with Emmer and Johnson winding up as the conference’s two final choices.
The House has gone three weeks without a speaker since Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was removed from the position. It was the first time in U.S. history a speaker has been removed.
Emmer will be the third candidate for speaker chosen by House Republicans since McCarthy was removed. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) was first chosen in a secret ballot but dropped out before a floor vote after he was unable to unify Republicans for a majority vote against Democrats. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) was then elected in a secret ballot. His nomination got three floor votes, all of which failed, which led him to drop out.
Emmer called for a private roll call of Republican members to ensure he has a consensus before a possible floor vote, where he needs a 217-member majority, according to PunchBowl.
It is unclear if or when the House will schedule a floor vote for Emmer’s speakership bid.
The House, without a speaker, has been unable to act on bipartisan calls to pass emergency aid to Israel amid its escalated military conflict with Hamas, according to The New York Times.
Some House Democrats have suggested they may skip the speakership vote to ease Emmer’s path to victory and restore the chamber’s ability to pass legislation, PunchBowl reported.