Republicans vote on the nomination of the Speaker

11:41 am ET, October 24, 2023

Speaker nominees need 217 votes before moving to the floor, but not everyone in the House GOP is optimistic.

From CNN’s Annie Grayer, Lauren Fox and Manu Raju

Members of the House of Representatives vote on House Speaker on October 20 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

During the speaker’s candidate forum on Monday, all speaker candidates agreed they wanted to get 217 votes in the chamber before going to the chamber, a source familiar with the matter told CNN. But that doesn’t mean it will officially happen.

As voting sped up, House Republicans must again decide whether to remain behind closed doors until the speaker’s nominee gets 217 votes or return to the House floor with the candidate who wins the majority. Convention and risk public humiliation.

Speaker nominee GOP Rep. Kevin Hearn told CNN on Monday that he and the other candidates in the race believe they should hold a private list vote before going to the House floor to test whether the GOP nominee has 217 votes. That would avoid a scene on the floor that derailed Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan’s effort.

“I think the consensus, and I’ve talked to some people who are running and others who are actually voting members, is that we want to see a roll call vote in the base. We know this. Because the American people don’t want to see another thing like what happened with Jim Jordan last week,” he said.

Tennessee’s GOP Rep. Tim Burchett told CNN that the 217 meeting behind closed doors is important because they want to avoid another public embarrassment on the House floor.

“I don’t think it’s going to go off the floor until we commit to 217,” Burchett said. “If it goes upstairs, it wins.”

But not all Republicans are sold on the strategy. Texas GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw told CNN that reaching 217 is unlikely, but “we’ll see who wins. The rebels may be tired.

South Carolina’s GOP representative. Ralph Norman told reporters between rounds of voting that the convention decided to hold a roll call once the race narrowed to the final two candidates so members could record who they would support.

“We’ll get it down, and then we’ll get it down, I think both, and we’ll have a roll call vote.”

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