House Republicans sparred over the rules for choosing a new speaker

House Republicans, divided and demoralized after their speaker’s ouster this week, are now quietly squabbling over how to choose a successor.

The controversy that erupted Friday suggests the same divisions that led to the downfall of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy continue to roil within GOP ranks, setting the stage for a potentially tough race when lawmakers choose next week. His replacement.

At issue is a request Friday by more than 90 House Republicans to temporarily change the party’s internal rules for nominating a speaker. Interim Speaker Patrick D. of North Carolina. In a brief letter to McHenry and the conference chair, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, the group requested a “special agency meeting” to consider the change. The New York Times has obtained a copy of the letter.

In that letter, they have requested to temporarily raise the limit for filing nominations and amend it. Supporters of the change are urging a unanimous vote of the Republican convention instead of the current majority.

Mr. They have pitched the idea as a way to foster unity after McCarthy’s deeply divisive ouster.

That would, in theory, avoid a repeat of the public confusion that unfolded in January, when Republicans finally elected Mr. The country watched the House falter through 15 rounds of roll call votes around McCarthy.

But supporters of House Majority Leader Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who is running for speaker, are quick to cry foul, arguing that the change will make it more difficult for him to get elected.

The fractured GOP convention unanimously voted for Mr. The idea of ​​rallying behind Scalise or the other announced candidate, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, is also almost unthinkable.

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But Mr. Scalise’s allies, including Mr. Jordan is believed to win the majority, putting him in a strong position to defeat the Ohio Republican on the House floor under current rules.

“Changing the rules would create confusion and only benefit candidates who can’t get 51 percent of closed-door votes,” said Rep. Lance Gooden of Texas.

Representative Ann Wagner of Missouri, Mr. A Scalise supporter said “a last-minute, rushed rule change is not really what the convention needs right now.”

“We need unity, we need leadership,” he said. “We should all be ready to support the candidate the majority chooses.”

“Nothing is binding” on a conference call vote, he added. “The only vote on the floor of the House of Representatives is conducted with full transparency,” he said.

House Republicans were scheduled to nominate a new nominee for speaker in a secret ballot behind closed doors on Tuesday, and a vote could be held as early as the next day.

under current Rules of the Republican Party Convention, whoever emerges from the secret ballot with a simple majority wins. Changing the rules could lead to a more drawn-out process in which both candidates would have to fight to get the entire convention behind them.

Mr. Scalise’s allies have called the effort Mr. Jordan’s candidacy is seen as an attempt by promoters. One of those leading the charge for change is Representative Chip Roy of Texas, who Mr. supported Jordan.

Mr. McCarthy’s allies have also been pressing members to sign on, arguing that the rule change would help keep any infighting behind closed doors. Former Speaker, Mr. And Mr. The feeling among Scalise’s supporters is that they want Mr. They have a vested interest in helping elect Jordan as Speaker.

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The members who signed the letter come from all factions of the Republican convention. They included Representative Garrett Graves of Louisiana, a loyal McCarthy ally, and Representative Bob Good of Virginia, one of eight hard-right members who voted to oust him.

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