US House of Representatives: Two new presidential candidates elected in ten hours

The chaos in the US House of Representatives continues. In just ten hours, the Republicans had elected a new, third candidate for the presidency, Tom Emmer. After his resignation, number four should take care of it, Mike Johnson.

The crisis in the US House of Representatives, which has been blocked for three weeks, is getting worse. Now Representative Mike Johnson will be the new candidate for the presidency of the US House of Representatives. The Republicans want to nominate him today. The 51-year-old received 128 votes in an internal vote with other candidates, US media reported late on Tuesday evening (local time). Johnson told reporters that he wanted to make the appointment official on Wednesday and stand for election for the top job in the chamber. His nomination does not automatically mean that he will receive the necessary majority in the official election.

The lawyer and former radio presenter from the state of Louisiana is the fourth candidate for the presidency since his party colleague Kevin McCarthy was voted out in a historic vote at the beginning of October. At the time, Johnson refused to acknowledge Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 presidential election, media reports said.

Only hours before Johnson’s appointment, Republican Tom Emmer had been nominated for the post. According to media reports, the 62-year-old withdrew his candidacy after a few hours because he was unable to get a majority for the later vote in the chamber’s plenary session. It became clear that the Republican faction leader had little chance of winning the third-highest state office in the USA, given the resistance within the party.

26 Republicans wanted to refuse support for Tom Emmer

The representative of the traditional-conservative wing of the party prevailed within the party on Tuesday to succeed Chairman Kevin McCarthy, who was deposed three weeks ago. The number three Republican group received 117 votes in the last round of voting, while second place Mike Johnson received 97 votes.

As a result, 26 MPs signaled that they did not want to support Emmer in the election as chairman in the plenary session. Given the narrow majority of Republicans in the House of Representatives, the representative of the party establishment had no chance of being elected speaker in the plenary session.

Right-wing hardliners accuse Emmer of not sufficiently supporting former President Donald Trump. They are also bothered by the fact that the representative from the state of Minnesota has spoken out in favor of aid to Ukraine and marriage for all.

Almost two hours later, an agreement was reached in another vote the previously runner-up Mike Johnson from Louisiana as the new candidate.

A majority of 217 MPs is required to be elected speaker. The Republicans currently only have a slim majority in the Congressional Chamber with 221 representatives, while President Joe Biden’s Democrats have 212 representatives.

The House of Representatives has been paralyzed for three weeks and is therefore unable to pass any laws or new military aid for Israel and Ukraine. The previous chairman, McCarthy, was overthrown on October 3rd by a revolt by right-wing hardliners within his own ranks. The search for a successor is extremely chaotic.

Jordan and Scalise also failed

Majority Leader Steve Scalise, initially nominated by the Republicans, withdrew his candidacy after it became clear that he would fall short of the necessary majority. The right-wing hardliner Jim Jordan, who was then nominated, clearly failed in three attempts in the plenary session. The group then withdrew the Trump confidant’s nomination last Friday. Now the 62-year-old Emmer, who has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2015, also failed.

The chaos among the Republicans that has been going on for weeks has far-reaching consequences: without a chairman, the House of Representatives is blocked from passing legislation. This means, among other things, that Congress cannot decide on further military aid for Israel, which has been attacked by the radical Islamic Palestinian organization Hamas, or Ukraine, which has been attacked by Russia, which President Biden has asked Parliament to provide. The USA is also threatened with a so-called shutdown in mid-November without a solution to the budget dispute.