Jordan to Cancel Third Vote, will Back McHenry as Interim Speaker Through January 2
This morning, the news came out that the House Republican Conference led by Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, voted to cancel the third-round of proxy voting and will back Congressman Patrick McHenry of North Carolina as the interim Speaker of the House through January 2, 2021.
Scalise commented on the situation, “We believe strongly in the power of voting to achieve results and hold our representatives accountable. As a Republican conference, we are united in the commitment to continuing the work to restore the American people’s trust in their government. We are grateful for Congressman McHenry’s leadership during this consequential and challenging time.”
This news comes only one day after the first proxy voting round concluded, with McHenry receiving the majority of votes from the House Republican Conference. Scalise and the House G.O.P. hoped to get 218 votes by the end of the third round, the number needed to make him the official Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming spoke out on behalf of the House G.O.P. to announce McHenry’s virtual speaker appointment. “It is with great honor that I stand with my colleagues in the House Republican Conference to join Congresswoman Liz Cheney in officially appointing Congressman McHenry as the Interim Speaker of the House of Representatives through January 2, 2021,” said Cheney.
McHenry had issued a statement expressing his appreciation for the support from his Republican colleagues. “I am grateful to G.O.P. leaders for the trust they have placed in me and for recognizing the importance of their votes and representation. I look forward to working together to promote policies that put American people first.”
It is the first time in U.S. history that an interim speaker has been appointed to lead the House of Representatives. It is an unprecedented move by the House G.O.P, who decided to end the proxy voting and support a stand-in for Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the remainder of the 116th Congress.
The decision to back McHenry comes at an awkward time for both Democratic and Republican lawmakers. With the Biden Administration taking power in the new year, it will be McHenry’s responsibility to ensure a smooth transition between the parties while maintaining a relatively stable House.
Regardless of political affiliation, McHenry is well-respected on both sides of the aisle and his tenure as interim speaker has the potential to bridge the partisan gap between both parties.