Win McNamee Getty Images via Agence France-Presse The favorite to chair the House of Representatives is now Tom Emmer, seen here arriving Monday evening at the Republican candidate forum.
After trying for weeks to choose a new president for the House of Representatives, American Republicans will hear on Monday nine new candidates for this post whose vacancy has paralyzed Congress.
The stakes are high: in the absence of a vote on the budget, the threat of a budgetary paralysis of the federal administration in mid-November is real. And, without a speaker, the House is unable to grant President Joe Biden's request to send emergency aid to Israel and Ukraine.
During a “candidates forum” Monday evening, nine men will try to present themselves as the best option to unify Republicans whose internal struggles are coming to light, 20 days after the dismissal of the former president of the lower house, Kevin McCarthy.
But neither appears to have the support needed to win the 217 votes required in the general vote in the chamber.
“It's probably one of the most embarrassing things I've seen,” Foreign Affairs Committee head Michael McCaul told ABC News on Sunday.
“Because yes we don't have a Speaker of the House, we can't govern. And every day that goes by, we are basically shut down as a government,” he added.
Last week, Judiciary Committee head Jim Jordan, an ally of former President Donald Trump, appeared poised to end the party's increasingly troublesome quest.
He ended up suffering three failures in three votes. Then the Republicans withdrew their support, saying they would meet on Monday to nominate a new candidate for speaker.
The favorite now is Tom Emmer, the number three Republican in the House, voice of the establishmentwhose talent for raising funds is recognized. But Donald Trump's allies are opposed to him because he is one of two men out of nine candidates on the roost who voted to certify Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election. as lacking loyalty.
Mr. Trump, who has endorsed Jim Jordan, told reporters before a campaign event in New Hampshire that he had spoken with Mr. Emmer over the weekend but had no plans to support him.
“I talked to Mr. Emmer, I talked to a lot of elected officials in Congress. They called me and they all called to ask for my support. And of course I have to hold back for a while. I have a lot of friends who are looking at this right now,” he said.
These dysfunctions within the Republican Party are preventing Congress from responding to Mr. Biden's demand for more than $100 billion in emergency funds, primarily military aid for Ukraine and Israel in their wars against, respectively, Russia and Hamas.
And the federal administration will be paralyzed, with hundreds of thousands of workers temporarily sent home without pay, unless elected officials approve the federal budget for 2024 by November 17.
“At a critical time when our allies are counting on us to show leadership…House Republicans are making a mockery of our government and embarrassing the country on world stage,” denounced Democratic National Committee spokesperson Sarafina Chitika.
Each of the nine candidates must speak for two minutes in the evening during this closed-door forum, which will be followed by an hour and a half of questions and answers and then a one-minute closing speech.
Republicans will begin voting by secret ballot on Tuesday. In each round, the candidate with the fewest votes will be eliminated, until there is only one left. The date for a vote of the full House has not yet been set.