While the House speakership battle took a backseat to the developing crisis in Israel, some major moves were announced this week.
According to the Daily Caller, one of the House Republicans vying for the gavel announced that he'd rather aim for party unity, and announced he was dropping out of the race for the speakership.
On Saturday, Oklahoma Rep. Kevin Hern (R) announced that he's no longer interested in seeking the powerful leadership position.
Rep. Kevin Hern is dropping out of the race for Speaker of the House. https://t.co/aiorDjkdlG
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 9, 2023
Hern was widely touted as one of the frontrunners for the speaker's gavel, but made clear in a recent post that he's more concerned about bringing the Republican Party together at this time, while it remains divided.
"I’ve been on the phone 50+ hours with Republican members and what’s clear is we all want UNITY. I believe a three-man race for Speaker will create even more division and make it harder to elect a Speaker," Hern wrote.
I’ve been on the phone 50+ hours with Republican members and what’s clear is we all want UNITY.
I believe a three-man race for Speaker will create even more division and make it harder to elect a Speaker.
Read my letter here: pic.twitter.com/Sea4gPCS94
— Congressman Kevin Hern (@repkevinhern) October 7, 2023
In his statement, Hern said he relied on prayer to determine whether or not he should make a run for the gavel.
"Following the results of the vote on Tuesday, many of you reached out to me encouraging me to run for Speaker of the House. I prayerfully considered those conversations, and over the past four days have carefully examined the question of who our next Speaker should be and whether I should announce my candidacy for the role," his statement read.
The statement added, "I called, texted, or met in-person with all 221 members of the House Republican Conference, asking each member what they want to see in the next Speaker and how we can move forward as a Majority. The overwhelming response I heard from you is that we must unify and come out of this situation stronger as a Majority. While many of you emphasized the necessity for new blood in our leadership, the need for unity comes first and foremost."
As it stands, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) are currently the frontrunners for the speakership.
Former President Donald Trump was suggested as a replacement by some House Republicans, and he even agreed to step in on a short-term basis, if need be.
The lack of a House speaker has also thrown an unexpected wrench in the gears as far as the Israel/Hamas situation. Many have wondered how Congress, if need be, can approve aid packages and other assistance to the American ally.
Hopefully, House Republicans get their act together and figure something out sooner than later.