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Who's The Next Speaker of The House?

Several new Republican lawmakers have recently emerged as potential candidates for the next speaker of the U.S. House. Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik announced the list of candidates, who had until noon Sunday to declare their candidacy.

The list, shared by Stefanik on X (formerly known as Twitter), includes the following individuals: Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.), Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Penn.), Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.), Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.), and Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas).

These new contenders have emerged following the removal of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who was ousted from his role after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) filed a motion to vacate. Next, Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) was considered as the party's choice for speaker, but he withdrew due to insufficient support.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the House Judiciary Chair, then became the next candidate in line. However, despite his efforts to secure the 217 votes required to become speaker, at least 20 Republicans voted against him in each of the three floor-vote attempts. As a result, his nomination was revoked last Friday.

While some candidates garner more attention than others, the announcement from Donalds drew significant interest. Emmer has also been rumored as a potential pick for speaker. However, conservative Republicans have expressed frustration with moderate Republicans for rejecting Jordan, who enjoyed significant support within the Republican base but was seen as a hardline conservative questioning the results of the 2020 presidential election.

"The most popular Republican in Congress was just knifed in an anonymous vote in a secret closed-door meeting in the basement of the Capitol," Gaetz wrote on X on Friday, characterizing the situation as the "Swamp at work."

Meanwhile, some more moderate Republicans are frustrated with Gaetz and are wary of rewarding his actions to remove McCarthy with an aggressive conservative choice. Additionally, reports have emerged that Jordan stated behind closed doors his support for the speaker pro Tempore, U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), for a limited temporary speakership role to ensure government funding and meet other key legislative goals.

In November, there is a looming possibility of a partial shutdown for the federal government. The situation is exacerbated by the mounting pressure to allocate additional funds for the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Israel. Acknowledging the urgency of the matter, President Joe Biden has urged Congress to pass a comprehensive spending package amounting to $105 billion. This proposed allocation encompasses not only the aforementioned wars but also funding for border security and support for Taiwan. It is worth highlighting that national security experts have warned of the imminent risk of an invasion by China on Taiwan.

However, subsequent developments have added a twist to the unfolding situation. Jordan, following his speech to the press, unequivocally stated his intention to abandon this plan and instead pursue an alternative approach, signaling the potential for a different outcome. It is worth noting that despite the skepticism voiced by many Republicans, Democrat Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries has expressed a certain degree of openness to the idea during his interactions with reporters.

In light of this evolving landscape, it is crucial to closely monitor the deliberations and decisions taken in relation to funding and security matters, as they will have far-reaching implications for the nation.

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