House Republicans are scrambling to select a new Speaker of the House, and two rival proposals have been introduced to start the process. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Mich., and Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., both unveiled separate plans to address the situation.
Moolenaar’s proposal seeks to create a nine-member Leadership Council that would be tasked with selecting a Speaker and drafting a new House GOP agenda. The council would consist of five current members of the House’s Republican leadership and four additional members from the broader Republican caucus. A vote for Speaker would take place if the council fails to reach an agreement.
Banks proposed the formation of an ad hoc leadership—which wouldn’t require much reorganization or government bureaucracy—that would also be tasked with selecting a Speaker. Banks’ plan also seeks to restore “trust, civility, and unity” to the caucus and foster “positive policy discussions” between Republican factions.
It remains to be seen which proposal, if any, will be adopted by the House Republicans. Critics of the Moolenaar plan worry that it could lead to a prolonged power struggle between the GOP’s different factions, while others point out that Banks’ plan could create problems if the ad hoc leadership proves unable to reach a consensus.
What is certain is that, with the current Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, on his way out, the House Republicans must act quickly to fill the leadership vacuum. This is an unprecedented situation, and both proposals have the potential to bring new life and greater unity to the GOP. It remains to be seen which plan will prevail, but it is clear that the House Republicans are determined to end this period of flux as soon as possible.