Emmer Drops Speaker Bid Hours After Winning GOP Nomination
House Majority Whip Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., speaks with reporters after a House Republican Conference meeting in the U.S. Capitol on the speaker of the house nomination on Thursday, October 12, 2023.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN) dropped out of the speaker race just a couple hours after winning the GOP nomination on Tuesday.

The news came after Emmer reportedly walked out of a GOP conference meeting as roughly two dozen Republicans refused to support him and former President Donald Trump unleashed a Truth Social post against his bid for the speakership.

Because Republicans have a narrow majority in the House, Emmer could only afford to lose a handful of GOP votes if all Democrats opposed his bid. So far, Democrats have rallied behind their nominee, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

Exactly three weeks after the House voted to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as speaker, Emmer became the third Republican nominee after campaigns by House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) failed to prevail over resistance from within the GOP conference.

Scalise, like Emmer, never made it to a House floor vote. Jordan, who was endorsed by Trump, is the only nominee who did. He failed to clinch the speaker’s gavel across three votes, after which the GOP conference elected to drop him as the nominee.

Emmer had the support of party leaders including McCarthy and Scalise, but could not prevail over a bloc of Republicans who raised concerns about his voting record — including supporting a bill that codified same-sex marriage protections and voting to certify the 2020 election results.

One Republican who opposed his bid was Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), who lost to Emmer for the majority whip role, claiming Emmer is not a conservative. Trump, who is the GOP frontrunner in the 2024 presidential contest, took to his social media platform to call Emmer a “RINO” — or Republican in name only — and encouraged members not to vote for him.

Some members called for other candidates who lost to Emmer for the nomination to get back in the race, including Reps. Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Kevin Hern (R-OK). Johnson made it to the fifth and final ballot, losing 117-97 to Emmer. Another candidate forum is set to take place at 6 p.m. ET.


As reported by Punchbowl News, Democrats had indicated that Emmer was the least disagreeable candidate of the bunch and floated a way to get him elected by lowering the majority threshold.

Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) offered to sit out a House floor vote if Emmer would “fund our government at negotiated levels, bring Ukraine and Israel aid bills to the floor, and commit to rules changes to make Congress work for the people.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Emmer Drops Speaker Bid Hours After Winning GOP Nomination