Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie) other morning email thingie explains to us the actual methodology of how the House elects the Speaker (emphasis is mine)”
Weird thing about the speaker vote on Jan. 3 — it will essentially function in a House without rules.
And riding on a horse with no-name. Do continue.
The speakership election happens before the House sets the rules for the 118th Congress, meaning the vote operates outside of the chamber’s standard operating procedures. When a speaker candidate is elected on the first ballot without too much drama, that’s not a big deal.
But Jan. 3, 2023 could have a lot of drama, and many members doubt it will all be settled on the first ballot.
And this is where once again we learn that K-Mac is a talentless hack who is really bad at his job.
GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) at this point doesn’t have all the votes he’d need to clinch the gavel. Let’s say, after the prayer is offered, the Pledge of Allegiance said and the roll called, that McCarthy (or any challenger) fails to reach the necessary majority threshold. There’s a few things that could happen next:
First: The clerk can theoretically repeat the roll call voice vote until someone gets a majority. That’ll suck up some time, but don’t expect sessions to get drawn out late into the night. Matthew Glassman, a senior fellow at the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University, told Huddle that historically there’s only been an appetite for three or four votes before members want to get off the floor to wheel and deal.
“Let the Bribes Begin!”
“These are not marathon sessions,” Glassman said.
Second: Lawmakers could vote on a proposal to change how they elect the speaker, like accepting a plurality winner — a wild departure, though there is precedent from multiple speaker votes in the 1850s — or going by a secret ballot. However, proposals to make other restrictions like dropping candidates with the lowest number of votes or barring new candidates have historically been defeated or tabled.
“Secret ballots? They ain’t MAILED IN ARE THEY, HNNNNNGH?”
Third: If Republicans need to regroup before starting a new ballot, maybe hash out a compromise with McCarthy or do some horse trading behind closed doors, there is just one option on the table: adjourn the House. Without House rules in place, the chamber cannot recess subject to the call of the chair. They’d need to adjourn, with a certain day and time for reconvening specified.
In other words, more bribes behind closed doors.
The Clerk will call the shots: The Clerk of the House has the authority to make rulings during this period, since there’s no speaker, though the House can appeal and overturn clerk rulings.
And now we know who one of the likely bribe-ese will be.
We should “expect the clerk to behave in a relatively nonpartisan way,” Glassman said. Clerk Cheryl L. Johnson was sworn in by outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), but there are notincentives for her or her team of clerks to muddy the waters.
No pause button: During this time, if McCarthy fails on the first ballot, any members-elect can seek recognition and make motions, propose resolutions, move to table items and call for roll call votes or to adjourn. However, efforts to delay the speaker election in favor of other business have been quashed in the past.
I wonder what TBotP means by “If”?
And remember: Members who are trying to topple McCarthy are getting familiar with their options, with certain House Freedom Caucus members meeting to talk through the procedure of the Jan. 3 vote with House Parliamentarian Jason Smith (not to be confused with Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.)).
Lots of in-the-know people (rules nerds) who talked to Huddle about these possibilities shared a sentiment that while the never-before-seen procedural moves could be fascinating — the reality could be excruciating.
The MPS betting window is going for excruciatingly boring.
Procedure is a big piece of this puzzle, but the reality is raw politics: Whether McCarthy can convince his conference members to shift their votes into his column is what will move the needle and ultimately decide the speakership.
If K-Mac could convince his members, this wouldn’t be happening at all. Remember, K-Mac is very bad at his job.