Minnesota Congressman Emmer to seek speakership as US House remains in turmoil
After more than two weeks without a speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and seemingly no frontrunners in the Republican party, a Minnesota congressman is stepping into the conversation.
Friday afternoon, hours after Republicans voted down Rep. Jim Jordan for the third time and then announced plans to find a new nominee, a source has confirmed multiple reports that Minnesota’s 6th District Rep. Tom Emmer will seek the nomination, and is making calls on the matter.
The speaker acts as the leader of the House and is behind only the vice president in the line to the presidency.
Emmer initially fought to save McCarthy’s job and then supported current House Majority Leader Rep. Steve Scalise for the speaker role. However, Scalise quickly dropped out after lacking support and the party put forth Jordan as its nominee.
Had Scalise been named speaker, Emmer said he planned to seek the majority leader role.
The majority leader role is the No. 2 position in the House Republican conference while Emmer’s current role as whip is the No. 3 position.
“Tom Emmer is someone who’s worked very hard in Congress to build a broad network of people. He’s known as someone who likes to talk and find common ground,” said Larry Jacobs, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota. “The idea of knowing your colleagues provides Emmer with the ability to talk about how he can unify Republicans.”
A Minnesota congressman has never held the speaker or House majority leader roles.
It’s still unclear if any other Republicans will also run for speaker and if Emmer will have the necessary support. It’s also unclear when exactly the next vote to elect a speaker could take place, as The Associated Press reported Friday afternoon that Scalise said the caucus was going to take a break over the weekend and reconvene Monday.
“It is more unpredictable than ever. There are four other candidates who’ve definitely declared their candidacy for speaker in the caucus. There are six others, who along with Emmer are contemplating finally declaring,” said Steve Schier, a political science professor at Carleton College.
“There’s certainly pressure building on Republicans to find a leader. But Republican factions also have very strong convictions and I don’t expect to see any of these factions folding up their tent,” Jacobs added.
Emmer is currently in his fifth term after first being sworn into the House in 2015. In addition to serving as whip, he’s also on the House Financial Services Committee
Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips released the following statement on Rep. Emmer seeking the nomination:
“It would be great to have a Minnesotan serve as Speaker of the House. If Majority Whip Tom Emmer becomes the GOP nominee, I invite him to work with Democrats on a bipartisan path to end the nonsense and reform the House so it starts working for people. It’s time.”Congressman Dean Phillips