Late Tuesday, Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) disclosed his intentions to propose former President Trump as the next U.S. House of Representatives speaker.
“When the House reconvenes this week, my primary agenda will be to put forth Donald J. Trump’s name for the position of Speaker,” stated Nehls. “In my eyes, President Trump, who had an impressive tenure, has consistently prioritized America and has the potential to rejuvenate the House.”
The position of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as Speaker was historically terminated on Tuesday when he was voted out with eight of his party members siding with the Democrats. Nehls had opposed efforts to dethrone McCarthy.
Notably, while the Speaker’s role doesn’t mandate its holder to be an active Congress member, every Speaker to date has been one.
Former President Trump, before the Republican Party reclaimed the House in 2022, had dismissed the idea of pursuing the prestigious position.
He commented last March, “Though many have raised the idea, and it often comes up in discussions, I don’t see myself in that role. I’m keen on understanding the current developments and deciding my next steps. The Speaker’s role doesn’t intrigue me.”
Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) has also expressed his support for Trump’s nomination as Speaker.
On the other hand, McCarthy announced that he would not be vying for the Speaker’s position again. The Republicans will host a candidate forum the following Tuesday to decide on their nominee, with Speaker Pro Tem Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) overseeing the proceedings.
In a Friday morning social media update, Trump endorsed Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan for the role of House speaker, adding another layer of complexity to the tumultuous quest to succeed Kevin McCarthy.
This gesture is another instance of Trump exerting his influence over a Republican Party that has undergone significant transformation since his initial presidential campaign eight years ago.
Given Trump’s stronghold on the GOP’s foundational supporters, his backing can be a game-changer in numerous congressional preliminaries. However, the contest for the Speaker’s position is intricate, entailing concealed negotiations and occurring within a charged atmosphere due to the discontent surrounding McCarthy’s removal.
Jordan competes against at least one notable contender – House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who also shares a favorable rapport with Trump. The eventual outcome remains uncertain, with no clear frontrunner for the coveted position. If Jordan doesn’t clinch the victory, another Trump confidant might rise to the occasion.
Trump’s strong influence over the GOP base means his endorsement holds the power to be decisive in numerous congressional primaries. However, the race for the Speaker’s position is multifaceted, characterized by internal party disputes that may sometimes unfold behind closed doors, especially against widespread Republican discontent over McCarthy’s removal. Jordan is up against formidable opponents, including House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who enjoys a favorable relationship with Trump.