Will Kevin McCarthy be House speaker? Two months after Republicans won majority, that’s still a head-scratcher | amNewYork

Kevin McCarthy is set to face a case of déjà vu on Tuesday. The political future of the 57-year-old will once again be at stake as Republican lawmakers decide whether he should be elected as House speaker.

The California lawmaker had previously completed the trip once in 2015, and is expected to meet him this week, facing similar opposition from the right wing of the party. His first speakership run came when then-House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, resigned after an internal party battle with members of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus.

More than seven years later, he is the party’s nominee for speaker after leading the Republican Party to a reduced majority in November’s midterm elections. He won the support of a majority of the convention during a closed-door leadership vote shortly afterward and overcame a challenge from Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.

While McCarthy no longer faces any serious Republican challengers to the constitutionally mandated office, which would make him second in the presidency, his ascension to speaker remains an open question. He faces opposition from a small number of Conservative MPs, who may well seal his nomination with a 222-213 majority.

Here’s all you need to know about how the House elects the Speaker:

no house without speaker

The first vote to elect the speaker will be before new and returning MPs are sworn into office on Tuesday. As prescribed under the Constitution, the session will begin at noon on January 3, with all lawmakers sitting on the floor of the House and members of both parties voting for the Speaker.

The chamber cannot organize unless it has a speaker because that person effectively serves as the presiding officer of the House and administrative head of the institution. The House can elect a new Speaker at any time if the person holding that role dies, resigns, or is removed from office. Barring this, a speaker is usually elected at the start of a new Congress.

Lawmakers call the name of their choice for speaker to the floor, a rare and time-consuming roll call that escalates the drama to the floor. Members often enliven proceedings by shouting or standing up while voting.

Who can be nominated?

In the weeks following an election, the Republican convention and Democratic caucus hold an informal vote among 10 of their members to decide who they want to nominate to lead their party in January. mccarthy won the majority Republicans vote in a closed-door November meeting. Weeks Later, Democrats Unanimously Rep. Hakeem Jefferies, DN.Y elected as its leader Because the party comes in the minority.

But, come January 3, members are not bound to vote for the party’s chosen candidate. While it has been tradition for the Speaker candidate to be a member of the House, it is not a requirement. In past years, President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump and even a senator, Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky, have received votes for House Speaker.

To be sure, none of them got a majority.

let the voting begin

Once the House is in a quorum – meaning that a minimum number of members are present to proceed – each party’s presidential nominee is called aloud by the respective leaders before a roll call vote to elect the new speaker. Will be read The clerk then appoints MPs from each party as tellers to tally the votes.

A candidate needs a majority of the members of the House present and voting in order to become Speaker.

Historically, the magic number has been 218 of the 435 members of the House. But several past speakers, including outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have taken the stage with fewer votes than this, as some members voted by being present rather than calling out. Each legislator voting “present” reduces the total number needed to reach a majority.

Many doubted that McCarthy would reach a majority to become speaker on the first ballot. Should he come up short, it is likely that the clerk will replay the roll call vote several times until he is able to garner a majority. McCarthy is expected to settle with concessions and holdouts until he is able to hold the gavel.

pass the gavel

Once the Speaker candidate has won a majority, the Clerk will announce the results of the election.

A bipartisan committee, usually consisting of members from the elected candidate’s home state, will then escort the elected speaker to a chair on the dais where the oath of office is administered. The oath is similar to that of a new member after a president has been elected.

The outgoing speaker will usually join the successor in the speaker’s chair, where he or she will approve the peaceful transfer of power from one party leader to another. This time, it will be Pelosi, the California Democrat who has held the gavel for the past four years.

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