The Hitchhiker’s Guide to how the House deadlock over a Speaker stands

Parts of nine days. That’s how long the House of Representatives has gone without a House Speaker. REPUBLICAN LAWMAKER PUSHING TO CENSURE RASHIDA TLAIB OVER RESPONSE TO SLAUGHTER IN ISRAEL This is augmented by the fact that the Middle East is ablaze. And the House can’t even adopt a simple, non-binding resolution just to say it stands with Israel. “This is bad,” said one senior House Republican leadership source. “I didn’t think it would get this bad.” The problem is that Republicans nominated House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) for Speaker. He won behind closed doors in the House GOP Conference. But a chasm stands between Scalise and the votes necessary to secure the Speakership. This is about the math. There may be no available route for Scalise to pluck off the necessary votes to win. HOUSE REPUBLICANS CHOOSE SCALISE AS THEIR CANDIDATE FOR SPEAKER AFTER MCCARTHY’S OUSTER GOP House Members and aides were dumbfounded at how much resistance they found to Scalise among rank-and-file Members. In particular, Fox was directed to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) and Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.) who aren’t supporting Scalise. “He may never get there,” said one source of Scalise’s steep climb to the Speakership. Scalise met with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) who he vanquished in the secret ballot vote. Jordan pledged to nominate Scalise on the floor and throw his weight behind the Louisiana Republican. Yet many Jordan acolytes were unmoved and remain pledged to Jordan. One would be hard-pressed to say the House has never found itself in such a twisted position. GOP LAWMAKER RESCUES AMERICANS FROM WAR ORDEAL IN ISRAEL So what happens next?It’s doubtful there will be any vote until the math works for Scalise – or anyone else. Lurking in the wings is former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). But it’s unclear that McCarthy could return to the leadership ranks. Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) is also an “in case of emergency, break glass” possibility. But it’s unclear if McHenry is viable. The House could ELECT McHenry Speaker Pro Tempore. That would allow McHenry to perform practically all duties as the Speaker. It would also enable the House to function. Also, McHenry could also start to just perform the routine tasks of the Speakership. However, such a scenario would almost certainly elicit a motion to vacate the chair of the Speaker Pro Tempore – offered by Democrats and Republicans. Or, the House could start to look somewhere else. It is unclear if the House could find a Speaker among the ranks who would marshal the votes of a coalition of 217 Members – likely Republicans and Democrats. Such a candidate would leave the extremists on both sides on the outside and maneuver somewhere in the middle. But when FOX inquired as to who that lawmaker could be, everyone was at a loss for words. This is the worst case scenario: the House continues in a stasis as a government shutdown looms in mid-November.
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