House Republicans are deeply divided over who should lead them ahead of a closed-door meeting Wednesday morning in which they will try to choose a nominee for speaker.
If they coalesce around a nominee, a vote could reach the House floor as early as Wednesday afternoon, but that possibility is increasingly unlikely.
Many Republicans emerged from a closed-door caucus Tuesday night saying they were no closer to unifying behind a candidate as several factions dug in for their nominees. It set the stage for a tumultuous and drawn-out secret vote on Wednesday, and suggested the House could continue for several days without a Speaker as party divisions took hold.
Asked about the chances of the House electing a speaker by Wednesday, Rep. Thomas Massey, Republican of Kentucky, said, “I’d put it at 2 percent.”
Lawmakers were scheduled to gather on Capitol Hill at 10 a.m. to begin voting in a closed-door session.
A week after a far-right faction forced Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his post, fewer than half of House Republicans have publicly declared their support for any of the leading candidates to replace him: Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the party’s second-in-command. and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Judiciary Committee Chairman.
There was one more complicating factor: Mr. McCarthy’s supporters insisted on voting to reinstate him, even after the California Republican said on Tuesday that he did not want to be the nominee.
The unresolved situation reflected deep divisions in the GOP. Mr. The chamber has been paralyzed since McCarthy’s ouster, and members worried it could not act in support of Israel after an invasion by the Palestinian group Hamas that led to more than 1,000 deaths and the taking of scores of hostages.
As he left the forum on Tuesday night, Mr. Scalise and Mr. Jordan made brief remarks to reporters. Mr. Scalise has been pushing for Republicans to quickly rally behind him, while Mr. Jordan and his allies face some very tough competition.
“We are putting together a strong alliance,” Mr. Scalise said after leaving the meeting. “We’re going to do this tomorrow and House is going to go back to work.”
Republicans discussed possible changes to their internal party rules before the vote, one that would make it more difficult to oust a sitting speaker and another that would require a unanimous vote among party members before nominating a nominee for speaker.
Both Mr. Efforts to avoid the awkward narrative curve of McCarthy’s tenure, in which he suffered through 15 floor votes to win the speakership in January, lasted just nine months in the job before being ousted by his own party. .
Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Jordan’s allies have been pushing to raise the threshold for a candidate for speakership, which Mr. According to current party rules, nominations must be by a majority of 111 votes of the party’s membership; Mr. Jordan and his allies need a House majority, 218 votes.