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For the third time, the Republicans will nominate a presidential candidate on Tuesday.

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WASHINGTON — Three weeks after Kevin McCarthy’s ouster, House Republicans will meet behind closed doors Tuesday morning to nominate a new nominee for speaker — their third attempt to fill the job.

A Republican Party civil war prevented Republicans from agreeing on a successor to McCarthy, Republican of California. The Republican Party’s two previous picks withdrew after failing to secure the votes needed to win, leaving the House in an unprecedented state of chaos with a possible government shutdown in less than a month and wars raging in Ukraine and the Middle East.

“The world is burning around us and American leadership is needed. And you can’t have all of America’s leadership if the House of Representatives doesn’t work,” Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., said on NBC’s “Meet the Press NOW,” emphasizing the need for his colleagues to move. and regroup around a new leader.

“The world is watching; our adversaries are paying attention. And that does not, you know, shed a good light on the democratic institutions that we are all sworn to defend,” he added. “Again, let’s hope and pray that it’s this week. »

By voting by secret ballot, the Republicans will reduce the eight declared candidates for president to just one. In each round on Tuesday, the candidate with the fewest votes will be eliminated until a single candidate receives a simple majority of those in the room. But even then, there is no guarantee that the party’s nominee will be able to win the president’s gavel in a public vote, which could take place as soon as Tuesday.

Because of Republicans’ narrow majority and Democrats’ unity behind Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the next GOP nominee will need the support of 217 of the 221 GOP lawmakers.

The party’s two previous nominees — Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio — fell far short of that magic number and were forced to drop out. Jordan’s decision Friday to leave the race after three failed votes and an internal vote of no confidence from his colleagues sparked a fight to fill the void.

Nine candidates have thrown their hats into the ring ahead of the weekend deadline, including Majority Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota, the third-ranking GOP leader and chief vote counter, who is the favorite to win the nomination . Another was little-known Rep. Dan Meuser of Michigan, a former business executive, who dropped out Monday night, immediately after making his pitch to his colleagues at a candidates’ forum.

It is far from certain that the next candidate will be able to obtain 217 votes. Some lawmakers, including Reps. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., and Chip Roy, R-Texas, told reporters Monday as their colleagues gathered that they would not sign a “unity” pledge to support the president-elect before knowing who it was. was.

“I’m not going to do that,” said Norman, a member of the Freedom Caucus.

Another obstacle is that the vote to sink Jordan empowered some generally quiet factions, notably Republicans in swing districts. Among them, Rep. Marc Molinaro, R-N.Y., who flipped from “yes” to “no” on Jordan and said Monday that swing district members “intend to leverage our votes” and to choose a new speaker sensitive to their concerns. .

“I want a speaker who recognizes the unique interests of members like mine and the constituents I represent,” Molinaro said.

The eight candidates still in the running are: Emmer; Louisiana GOP Conference Vice Chairman Mike Johnson; Alabama GOP Policy Committee Chairman Gary Palmer. Republican study committee Chairman Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, who previously owned McDonald’s franchises and sent hamburgers to his colleagues on Monday; former Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions of Texas; Jack Bergman of Michigan, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant general; Byron Donalds of Florida, a member of the far-right Freedom Caucus; and Austin Scott of Georgia, who challenged Jordan for the speaker position last week.

“We have nine that have announced. We easily have nine more, or maybe 90, that look in the mirror and see the next Speaker of the House,” Womack said Monday night before Meuser stepped aside. “So I just want to tell you that we need to unite around someone.”

Several of the remaining eight, including Emmer, Johnson and Hern, spoke by phone with former President Donald Trump, who said he would most likely remain neutral in Tuesday’s race. Trump had endorsed Jordan and he acknowledged the difficulty of winning 217 votes in the House.

“That threshold is very strict. I said there was only one person who could do it all the way. You know who that is? Jesus Christ,” Trump said Monday during a ‘a visit to New Hampshire. “If he came down and said, ‘I want to be a speaker,’ would he do it. Other than that, I haven’t seen anyone who can vouch for it.

Notably, at a recent GOP meeting, a lawmaker stood up and said that not even Jesus could be elected president in this majority, according to Rep. Mark Alford, R-Mo.

At a private candidate forum Monday evening, candidate speakers fielded questions from colleagues about their vision for the conference and their policy positions, including how they would handle an impending shutdown and aid. Ukraine.

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