Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has had enough closed-door meetings within the Republican conference as the debate rages on about who would be most viable as the party’s next speaker.
Republicans were reportedly scheduled to meet at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, per correspondence by House GOP Conference Chair Representative Elise Stefanik to members. Republicans previously met on Wednesday morning when House Majority Leader Steve Scalise defeated Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, 113-99, in a closed-door vote for the speaker nomination.
Republicans are scrambling to select someone who can garner enough floor votes from both hardline conservatives and House Democrats following the ousting of Kevin McCarthy, who was vacated with help from his own members after he passed a short-term spending bill to avert a government shutdown.
“Let’s do this on the House floor instead of behind closed doors,” Greene posted Thursday on X, formerly Twitter. “Stop dragging it out. If Kevin McCarthy had to go 15 rounds then the next Speaker should be able to do the same or more if they have to.
“Our job titles are REPRESENTATIVES of the American People. Let’s go.”
Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, who received plenty of blame and criticism within his party for leading members to vacate McCarthy, agreed with Greene.
“Let’s do the messy work of governing and leadership selection in front of the people,” said Gaetz, who has expressed support for Scalise, on X. “Just like I voted against McCarthy time after time…in public…making my argument, others should have to reveal their thinking and be appropriately judged by their voters.
“We elected & removed McCarthy with total transparency. Let’s replace him in the same manner.”
Newsweek reached out to Greene and Gaetz via email for comment.
Raven Harrison, a political strategist and former conservative congressional candidate, told Newsweek that despite the indications that Jordan would be the next speaker, “the swamp regrouped” and further reinforced the notion that leadership is lacking in Washington.
“By all accounts, Steve Scalise is the leader with the strength and the resolve to lead in these perilous times—said no one ever,” Harrison said. “Steve Scalise will be little more than McCarthy-lite [and] immediately set his sights on fast-tracking billions of dollars to other nations, attempting to appease the Marxist overlords on the left.
“As with the definition of insanity, when behavior is repeated the net result to our country will be the same,” she said.
Stefanik previously said her goal is for her conference “to ensure we unify to elect a Speaker to deliver legislative results for the American people to save the country.”
She congratulated Scalise following Wednesday’s closed-door vote and also expressed appreciation to Jordan, who she described as an “America First warrior,” for wanting to take on the role.
“Now is NOT the time to be campaigning for other leadership positions, House Republicans must work to unite to elect the Speaker—and that is my focus as Conference Chair at this important time,” Stefanik said on Wednesday.
Newsweek reached out to Stefanik via email for comment.
The numbers still look grim for Scalise as it pertains to a successful floor vote in his favor.
Various moderates and staunch conservatives have said they wouldn’t entertain a Scalise speakership, including Representatives Nancy Mace, Max Miller, Mike Lawler, Carlos Gimenez, Thomas Massie and Lloyd Smucker.
Legislators including Chip Roy, Bob Good and Lauren Boebert have also downplayed the notion of Scalise at the helm. Embattled Representative George Santos also has said he wouldn’t support Scalise, who he claims hasn’t spoken to him since he was elected.
Others, like Representative Barry Moore, have flip-flopped between Scalise and Jordan and now again reportedly want Jordan to take over. Greene previously stated Scalise should focus on his blood cancer rather than vie for the job.
There are also questions about how a hypothetical Scalise speakership could shake up the rest of the GOP House leadership.
Minnesota Representative Tom Emmer, currently the majority whip and No. 3 in rank-and-file, could ascend within the party. However, the Scalise supporter could face challenges for that No. 2 position by Stefanik and Oklahoma Representative Kevin Hern, according to reports.
Newsweek reached out to Emmer via email for comment.