Hello, it’s the weekend. This is The Weekender ☕
As of Friday evening, House Republicans had still not elected a speaker.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who Republicans picked as their nominee in a private meeting, was a hefty 60-ish votes short. Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), who many people had not heard of until this morning — and who said he hadn’t planned on running for Speaker until today — netted roughly 80 mostly anti-Jordan votes.
Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), once the heir apparent, had withdrawn his name after a nasty couple of days where he couldn’t close the gap, and even bled some initial support.
Republicans disbanded in despair, planning for a floor vote on Tuesday.
The past two weeks have been utter chaos. There’s been finger pointing, and juicy quotes, and lawmakers nearly jogging to the mob of reporters, eager to cast aspersions on their colleagues.
House Democrats, passing around popcorn, continue to remind their furious colleagues that they could always join with the Democrats and pick some acceptable moderate, all for the low, low price of giving Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) some extra power.
It’s not at all clear, at this moment, that anybody in the House Republican caucus can get to 217 votes. I have never heard lawmakers so candid, so spin-less, in their characterizations of the utter shambles in which their party sits.
And we’re still more or less the only ones reporting ahead, pointing out that even if they can coalesce behind a speaker, it seems likely that the one-member threshold to trigger the motion to vacate will remain — dooming him/her from the start.
This is a monster of Republicans’ own making. By welcoming with open arms the reactive, wholly anti-government, pro-attention at all costs faction of the party, they made it inevitable that these people — either by critical mass or tiny margins — would wield enough power to completely break the system.
This embarrassing, chaotic garbage fire is the reaping.
More on other news below. Let’s dig in.