Tom Emmer withdraws US House speaker bid hours after nomination

The Minnesota representative Tom Emmer has abandoned his bid for speaker after it became clear he had no pathway to winning the 217 votes required to claim the gavel. He abandoned his attempt hours after getting enough votes to be the GOP nominee.

Who is Tom Emmer, Republicans’ latest candidate to be House speaker?Read more

Emmer is the third Republican to withdraw from the speakership race after initially getting the nod from a majority of the conference. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio previously launched unsuccessful efforts.

Emmer’s failure to get the speakership is the latest development in a remarkably embarrassing three weeks for House Republicans that came after they ousted Kevin McCarthy as speaker.

Emmer won the nomination to be speaker shortly after noon ET on Tuesday, defeating the Louisiana congressman Mike Johnson by 117-97 in a secret ballot vote. After becoming the nominee, Republicans took a non-secret roll call vote in which 26 members said they would vote against Emmer in a floor vote, according to Punchbowl News, making his pathway to getting 217 votes virtually impossible. Republicans hold a 221-212 majority in the House, meaning that whoever is eventually elected speaker needs to get the support of almost the entire conference, assuming all Democrats vote for their leader, Hakeem Jeffries of New York.

Johnson and Kevin Hern, the chairman of the Republican study committee and one of the eight candidates Emmer defeated on Tuesday, immediately announced they were running for speaker.

Donald Trump had publicly come out against Emmer’s candidacy on Tuesday afternoon.

“I have many wonderful friends wanting to be Speaker of the House, and some are truly great Warriors,” Trump said in a statement posted on Truth Social, his social media network. “RINO Tom Emmer, who I do not know well, is not one of them. He never respected the Power of a Trump Endorsement, or the breadth and scope of MAGA-MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! He fought me all the way.”

Emmer abruptly left a meeting of House Republicans on Tuesday afternoon, shortly before it was announced he was ending his bid, Punchbowl reported.

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Unlike many of his colleagues, Emmer voted to certify the 2020 election in Congress. When he led House Republicans’ campaign arm, he also reportedly advised candidates to not talk about Trump on the campaign trail – something Emmer strongly denies.