Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is backing House Majority Leader Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) for the Speakership, saying that he has the skills needed for the role.
McCarthy said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that now “is not the moment in time to play around with learning on the job,” citing the ongoing violence in the Middle East, the U.S.-Mexico border and the economic reasons. He suggested that Emmer is “someone who understands how to do this job.”
“I believe Tom Emmer, our whip; he’s been in the room with all of our successes, from our bills to secure the border, from Parents Bill of Rights, from cutting $2 trillion getting work requirements; he knows how to do the job across the street at the same time, helping us win the majority,” he said.
“He sets himself, head and shoulders, above all those others who want to run. We need to get him elected this week, and move on, and bring not just party together; but focus on what this country needs most,” he continued.
The Hill has previously confirmed McCarthy’s endorsement of Emmer last week before the Minnesota Republican even announced his bid, after he told Punchbowl News that Emmer “is the right person for the job.”
The House GOP has been in turmoil since eight of its members voted with Democrats earlier this month to oust McCarthy, leaving the House without a Speaker for nearly three weeks. There has been an ongoing battle for the Speakership as House Republicans struggle to rally behind one candidate.
House Republicans are set to meet behind closed doors for their candidate forum on Monday at 6:30 p.m., then will move to an internal nomination election on Tuesday morning. The deadline for candidates to file their candidacies is on Sunday at noon.
There are nine lawmakers who have said they are either running for Speaker or are considering it. Emmer formally announced his intention to run for the position on Saturday.
“If given the opportunity to be your Speaker, we will use that same culture of teamwork, communication, and respect to build on the moments that brought us success, learn from our mistakes, and keep fighting for each and every one of you and our Republican majority,” Emmer wrote in a letter to colleagues.
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