WASHINGTON, D.C. – After several rounds of closed-door voting, House Republicans selected Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN) as the next Speaker nominee. Tuesday afternoon, Emmer dropped out after it became clear he did not have the support needed to win the gavel.
Reports indicate Emmer was about 20 votes short of securing 217 even after spending most of Tuesday working the room, answering questions and trying to gather more support.
Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI) made it two rounds before dropping out of the race. Bergman took to X, formerly Twitter Tuesday morning to encourage House Republicans to rally around the frontrunner. “The House needs to elect a Speaker – and Republicans need to get to work. We have no time to waste. As I said before the vote, I’ll support our Speaker Designate on the House floor. We shouldn’t leave until we are confident we have 217 votes,” Bergman said in a post.
It’s been difficult for House Republicans to rally behind a Speaker candidate after ousting Kevin McCarthy (R- CA) three weeks ago. Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) dropped out after it was clear he would not secure the 217 votes necessary to win the gavel. Last week there were three failed floor votes for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).
As House Majority Whip, it is Emmer’s job to secure votes for legislation and other priorities. However, the inability for him to gain the support necessary indicates how divided the conference is when it comes to finding a new Speaker.
Republicans want to secure enough support for a candidate behind closed doors before they bring the official vote to the House floor. They met behind closed doors again Tuesday afternoon and will likely continue to do so until a candidate can reach 217 votes.