A majority of the House Republicans running for the speakership have embraced a pledge designed to ensure the next speaker can secure the necessary 217 votes on the floor.
This strategy aims to prevent the vote-counting turmoil that derailed previous contenders, such as Reps. Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan. Seven candidates are competing for the gavel, and five of them have now committed to this tactic.
The pledge is a straightforward two-paragraph statement organized by Rep. Mike Flood (R-Neb.), and it binds its signatories to vote “yea” on the floor for the candidate who receives the House Republican conference’s endorsement in the initial secret-ballot election scheduled for Tuesday. Flood is working to create a bloc of Republicans who will withhold their support from candidates unless they persuade their backers to sign the pledge.
Signatories include speakership candidates Reps. Austin Scott (Ga.), Mike Johnson (La.), Pete Sessions (Texas), Jack Bergman (Mich.), and Kevin Hern (Okla.), who also serves as the chair of the Republican Study Committee.
However, two announced candidates, Reps. Byron Donalds (Fla.) and Majority Whip Tom Emmer (Minn.), have yet to express their support for the pledge. Some conservative members aligned with the House Freedom Caucus are opposing it.
Lawmakers have until Sunday at noon to formally announce their candidacy, with a candidate forum scheduled for Monday night, followed by a GOP Conference vote on Tuesday morning. The previous candidates for the speakership, including Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Jim Jordan, were unable to secure sufficient backing, creating divisions within the House Republican conference.
Rep. Mike Johnson voiced his support for the pledge and emphasized the need to reach a consensus candidate. He highlighted the importance of electing a speaker who could serve as a trusted caretaker and steward of the gavel, all while governing effectively and expanding the Republican majority in the upcoming year.
The intense competition to secure the speakership has intensified over the weekend, with the candidates actively seeking endorsements and working to build their platforms. The lengthy process reflects the House Republicans’ ongoing struggle to select a new speaker, three weeks after Rep. Kevin McCarthy was ousted from the top post.
The speakership candidates’ fate remains uncertain, and many House Republicans are concerned that none of the new contenders can secure the necessary 217 votes without a significant shift within the House GOP. The situation remains fluid, and there are questions about what will happen if another vote fails to elect a speaker.
As House Republicans strive to navigate these challenges, it remains to be seen whether this pledge will help coalesce support around a single candidate, ending the political turmoil surrounding the selection of a new speaker.