Republican Majority Leader Tom Emmer won the Republican nomination for speaker after five rounds of internal voting, but it remains unclear whether he has the support needed to win a vote.
Mr. Emmer and Representative Mike Johnson were the bottom two in the speaker's race after Representative Kevin Hern entered the fourth round and Representative Byron Donalds voluntarily withdrew.
Mr. Emmer, who joined the House after winning his seat in 2014 after spending six years in the state legislature and losing a tight race for Minnesota governor in 2010, won the first round of voting for the president's nomination after received 78 votes, with Mr. Johnson. comes second with 34 votes.
Mr Emmer's lead increased in the second round, gaining 12 votes. Johnson remained second, earning three votes. In the third ballot, Mr. Emmer got 100 votes, 107 in the fourth and finally 117 in the fifth.
The GOP spent hours behind closed doors at a candidate forum Monday night.
Nine candidates were suggested as possible choices – Messrs. Donalds, Johnson, Jack Bergman, Hearn, Dan Meuser, Gary Palmer, Pete Sessions, Austin Scott and Emmer.
said spokesman Jim Banks The independent that Mr. Emmer has been “far away” from speaking since Tuesday afternoon. “He has a lot of work to do.”
Asked what his concerns were about Mr Emmer, he said: “I could have voted for any of the others who put themselves on the floor today, but I can't vote for someone who doesn't have a conservative record.”
Mr Emmer may go to the floor for a vote in the full House later on Tuesday, with his strategy for how to get the necessary support remaining unclear. But allies have said he wants to avoid the disaster that brought down Rep. Jim Jordan by going to the floor only after making sure he has the necessary support, according to Politico.
Majority Leader Steve Scalise, the first nominee since the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, opted not to go to the floor after private conversations revealed he lacked the necessary support.
There are many states that Mr. Emmer will have to try to win, including some allies of former President Donald Trump. Mr. Meuser said Mr. Emmer has about “10 reservations,” according to Politico. With only 221 members in a body of 433 — the House has two vacancies — Mr Emmer can only lose four.
“I think whoever wins it should stay in the room and figure out where they are and if they can get there,” spokeswoman Kelly Armstrong told the report. “I don't think anybody really cares about another series of three or four votes on the floor.”
Republicans hope to appoint a new speaker this week as government funding runs out on Nov. 17 and President Joe Biden is asking Congress for more than $100 billion to help both Ukraine and Israel.
“People are locked in, he explains his position,” said Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee. The independent after the vote. “I would hope that he would be able to enter the chamber with only those people who can stand it and that would be the way to go.”
Mr. Burchett was one of eight Republicans who joined with every Democrat to oust Mr. McCarthy, but he voted for Emmer.
“He's the overwhelming voter,” Mr. Burchett said of Mr. Emmer.
Mr. Emmer has worked hard in recent days to overcome the notion that he did not sufficiently support Mr. Trump.
Those close to Mr Trump began targeting the Minnesota lawmaker in the media on Friday, with a far-right outlet Real America's Voice declaring that Mr. Emmer is “Nancy Pelosi in a suit.”
A former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee in the 2020 and 2022 cycles, Mr. Emmer worked to recruit many of the Republicans who helped Republicans flip the House. But Republicans were still chronically underperforming despite winning back the majority in 2022.
Emmer and his staff worked overtime over the weekend making phone calls, including one with Trump. The call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Emmer has been described as cordial, even as Trump has been telling aides that he does not want Mr. Emer as speaker, annoyed by his 2020 certification vote and believing that was not adequately defending him publicly amid his widening legal woes.
The former president is also said to be annoyed with Mr. Emmer for advising before the 2022 midterm elections that GOP candidates should avoid focusing on Mr. Trump during their campaign.
“Will you support Emer? Wasn't he always your biggest fan…” a reporter asked Trump in New Hampshire on Monday.
“He's my biggest fan now because he called me yesterday and said he's my biggest fan, so … I'm trying to stay out of it as much as possible,” Trump said. He is reported to have spoken to several speaker candidates over the weekend.
Mr Emmer shared a quote on Trump's X that mentioned their phone call over the weekend in an attempt to reassure his team that he has a good “working relationship” with Mr Trump.
“If my colleagues elect me Speaker of the House, I look forward to continuing our strong working relationship,” Mr Emer wrote to X on Monday.
A spokesman for Mr Emmer said Politico that “Whip Emmer worked hand-in-hand with President Trump to help House Republicans fire Nancy Pelosi and regain the majority.”
“If he becomes speaker, Whip Emmer looks forward to continuing this productive relationship,” the spokesman added.
Pundits who support Mr. Trump, such as his former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, promote the idea that Mr. Emmer is a Washington insider with no real connection to the MAGA movement.
“Tom Emmer, the biggest Trumper ever in the House, a guy who hates Donald Trump,” Bannon said. War room podcast on Friday.
“Here's the chance of Tom Emmer being the speaker – zero,” he said.
Islamophobic far-right influencer Laura Loomer posted that Emmer is “one of the worst members of Congress” and “essentially a Democrat.”