It has been nearly three weeks since Kevin McCarthy was ousted as the Speaker of the House, but the House GOP members have not been able to elect a new Speaker yet.
With a majority of the House Republicans vying for the speakership role, Nebraska Congressman Mike Flood is urging members of his caucus to vote together and further chaos in the House.
He proposed a unity pledge for lawmakers to commit to a single candidate.
.@HouseGOP Speaker candidates are throwing their support behind the Unity Pledge.
— Rep. Mike Flood (@USRepMikeFlood) October 21, 2023
From The Hill:
Flood’s simple, two-paragraph pledge states that the signing member promises to vote for the eventual GOP-designated nominee, no matter who it is.
“The Unity Pledge is a new effort to help our conference put our differences aside and come together,” Flood said on X, formerly Twitter. “I’m urging all my colleagues to join this pledge so we can move forward with electing a Speaker and get on with the people’s business.”
Seven congressmen have launched Speaker bids, and five of them — Reps. Austin Scott (R-Ga.), Mike Johnson (R-La.), Pete Sessions (R-Texas), Jack Bergman (R-Mich.), and Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) — have said they would sign the pledge as of Saturday evening.
The two missing are Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) and Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Min.). Emmer is viewed as a top candidate for the job, holding the endorsement of McCarthy.
Don Bacon, who refused to vote for Jim Jordan, thanked Flood for the suggestion and added his name to the list of congressmen who have agreed to sign the pledge.
I agree with the pledge and I thank @USRepMikeFlood for offering a solution. From the country’s beginnings, we supported the majority’s choice in the House. This was violated multiple times starting in Jan, and we can’t have situation where a few ignore the rules. We can’t reward… https://t.co/Y1Lgk2mRpD
— Rep. Don Bacon 🇺🇸 (@RepDonBacon) October 21, 2023
Flood’s proposal is a sensible compromise after the infighting we have seen from GOP House members over the past couple of weeks.
If all the candidates for Speaker sign the pledge, the process of electing a new Speaker will be smoother.
However, there has been some resistance to the pledge.
Russ Vought, who was White House budget director under former president Donald Trump, called it “a ridiculous letter” and “cartel government away from the floor.”
This is a ridiculous letter and shouldn’t be signed. Cartel government away from the floor of the House. https://t.co/n9826BVhfO
— Russ Vought (@russvought) October 21, 2023
Lawmakers have until Sunday at noon to make their candidacy official before a Monday night candidate forum and a GOP Conference vote on Tuesday morning.
In a Saturday morning post, Emmer vowed to “always be honest and direct” with every Republican lawmaker and to “never make a promise I cannot fulfill.”
“Our conference remains at a crossroads and the deck is stacked against us,” Emmer warned.
Johnson also issued a lengthy dear colleague letter Saturday, listing his priorities if elected, including rebuilding trust and engaging more individual lawmakers in the policymaking process.
“It is incumbent upon us now to decide upon a consensus candidate who can serve as a trusted caretaker and a good steward of the gavel,” Johnson wrote. “We must govern well and expand our majority next year.”