House Republicans are once again meeting behind closed doors on Friday morning after Majority Leader Steve Scalise’s stunning exit from the speakership race on Thursday night.
GOP lawmakers are meeting at 10 a.m. and will have to check cellphones at the door, according to an invitation obtained by Fox News Digital.
They’re going to be considering four amendments to the House Republican Conference Rules that would raise the threshold needed to select a candidate for speaker before that person is nominated on the House floor.
Three of them would mandate that a speaker-elect has the support of a House-wide majority before getting a floor vote. That’s almost guaranteed to lead to hours-long debate behind closed doors — a lawmaker can only lose four GOP backers to still win without Democratic votes.
Amendments offered by Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, and Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., would mandate a Q&A session between the candidate and the conference if the person failed to get 217 votes on the first round of a secret ballot vote.
Roy’s amendment would give candidates a maximum of three chances at a secret ballot vote, and if they fail to get to 217, others will be considered.
The one offered by Huizenga punishes members who blindside their House Republican colleagues — lawmakers would lose their committee assignments if they declare themselves in support of a speaker designate within the GOP conference meeting but then vote against them on the House floor.
Rep. William Timmons, R-S.C., offered an amendment to raise the threshold to 218 votes which also calls for a Q&A portion. The Timmons amendment does not offer a set number of voting rounds.
The fourth, by Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., would require a speaker designate to win 80% of the conference vote behind closed doors.
It comes after Scalise was elected the House GOP’s candidate for speaker with a simple majority on Wednesday. Some lawmakers had speculated at the time that a full-floor vote could be held that same day, but it became clear that Scalise and his allies had underestimated the broad cross-section of opposition he was facing.
House Republicans could vote on a new candidate today, but as of early on Friday morning, no one has declared yet.
All eyes are on House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who won 99 ballots to Scalise’s 113 earlier this week. House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., and Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., are other names that have been floated — though neither have them have expressed interest in the gavel themselves.