The Freedom Caucus called on House leaders to keep Republicans in Washington until they elect a Speaker — a position that has been vacant since former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was ousted nearly three weeks ago.
In a statement Monday, members of the House Freedom Caucus said it was a mistake to send members home to their districts over the weekend, writing, “No Speaker, No Recess.”
“The House Republican Conference must remain in Washington, D.C. until a new Speaker of the House is elected. Republican leadership should have kept Republicans in Washington over the weekend. Our work is not done,” the statement read. “In fact, we are starting at ground zero after [Ohio GOP Rep.] Jim Jordan, arguably one of the most popular Republicans in the country, was rejected by House Republicans.”
Jordan, a founder of the conservative Freedom Caucus, lost a secret ballot vote Friday among Republicans, who voted to drop his candidacy for Speaker and start again. Jordan failed to secure the necessary votes on three ballots as the party’s nominee.
“We must proceed with all possible speed and determination,” the statement read. “Intentional and unnecessary delays must end. It serves only the lobbyists of the swamp and defenders of the status quo to continue to drag out this process.”
House Republicans will meet in a candidate forum Monday night, seeking a lawmaker they think could win the necessary 217 votes on the House floor to be elected Speaker. The Freedom Caucus statement noted the earliest a floor vote is likely to happen would be Tuesday.
The House also faces a looming government shutdown deadline of Nov. 17, when the stopgap funding measure expires. House members cannot pass appropriations bills or proceed with legislative activity until a Speaker is in place.