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Speaker of The House Who?

By: Jack Nevins

The House has now entered its second week without a speaker, since the ousting of Kevin McCarthy, but something is brewing within the US Government as a new Speaker may be on the verge.

Jim Jordan, the Republican Representative from the state of Ohio, extended his candidacy and leads in the speaker race on Monday, October 16th. Two long weeks have passed, and still the House remains vacant without a speaker. On Friday, October 13th, Jordan became the most recent speaker-designate following the secret ballot vote that put him in the front-running for the Republican party. Although Jordan won several holdouts, he is still 217 votes short of what is needed for the Republican to be elected.

In the secret ballot vote that occurred on October 13th, 55 Republicans voted against and opposed Jordan to become the speaker. In doing so, Jordan moved into a position similar to the Representative of Louisiana, Steve Scalise. Scalise managed to win the first speaker nomination in the first week following the removal of McCarthy, but then withdrew because of the lack of support he maintained. If Jordan lacks to pull through in the election of the speaker position, he can either postpone a vote, stick through a few more rounds of voting, or drop out of the running just as his co-candidate, Steve Scalise did in the week prior.

Can the House still function even though they are without a speaker? As of right now, the answer is no. Under the legislative business, all action within the House has been frozen for these two weeks. This includes anything to help fund the government, in avoiding a government shutdown. If no action is taken at all, this shutdown will begin in a month.

Patrick McHenry, the Representative of North Carolina, stands as the “speaker pro tempore”. This is a position created following 9/11 and in case the speaker were to be killed, this person will make sure the government will continue to run. McHenry stands as a place-holder until a candidate is elected.

The speaker of the House is still unknown, and as the race continues the position is absent without clarity on who will be in charge.