After Steve Scalise dropped out, Republicans only have Jim Jordan running for speaker at the moment, but they have threatened moderate Republicans who may consider working with Democrats to elect a speaker.
Despite all the chaos, conservative Republicans say they have no concern that some in their party may team up with Democrats to elect a speaker.
“That’s the thing that gets you beat in a primary,” says Rep. Kevin Hern.
“You’d get your ass beat,” says Rep. Tim Burchett.
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) October 13, 2023
Here is where things stand right now.
Jim Jordan is taking a crack at getting 217 votes, but the outlook is not good, so Republicans most likely don’t have a candidate for speaker and are waiting for someone to emerge. In reality, they are looking for a miracle.
Meanwhile, any Republican who might be thinking that it sure would be nice if they could do their job and pass legislation has been warned not to team up with the Democrats to elect a speaker or they will be primaried.
Any Republican who might want to work with the Democrats is a hostage.
The way out of this would be for a large group of House Republicans to walk away and form a coalition House government with the Democrats. Republicans can threaten to primary five members who might work with Democrats. It is much more difficult to primary 25 Republicans who work with Democrats.
The current situation can’t hold for much longer. Either Republicans find a candidate who can win, or people are bound to start looking at working with Democrats to elect a speaker.