Following the historic vote earlier this week to eject U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from the speakership position he has held since January, there has been significant speculation on Capitol Hill and beyond regarding his replacement.
Although the top contenders — Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA), Jim Jordan (R-OH) and a handful of others — are members of the House, the Constitution does not specify that lawmakers can only select one of their own to lead the chamber.
That fact has revived earlier suggestions that former President Donald Trump could be elected by the razor-thin GOP majority to become the next speaker.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who led the charge to oust McCarthy, cast a vote for Trump earlier this year during the prolonged intraparty battle to select a speaker. Last year, he signaled an intention to nominate the former president during a political rally.
Trump’s name is once again being discussed as a possible replacement for McCarthy, but he seemingly poured cold water on the idea in a statement on social media early Thursday.
“I am running for President, have a 62 Point lead over Republicans, and am up on Crooked Joe Biden, despite the Democrat Party’s massive Law-fare, Weaponization, and Election Interference efforts, by 4 to 11 Points,” he wrote.
Despite focusing his attention on a third-straight White House bid, Trump signaled that he is willing to “do whatever is necessary to help with the Speaker of the House selection process” in the “short term” so that he will have a reliable ally in Congress upon securing a second presidential term.
Multiple House Republicans have already signaled support for the idea of selecting the former president as the next speaker.
Congressman Greg Steube calls for Donald Trump to become Speaker of the House. pic.twitter.com/wnPpGChu5D
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) October 3, 2023
Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) asserted that several “America First Patriots” have told him that they would support such a nomination.
In a social media statement on Tuesday, he wrote that his first act upon returning to the House floor “will be to nominate Donald J. Trump for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives,” adding: “President Trump, the greatest President of my lifetime, has a proven record of putting America First and will make the House great again.”