Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

New York’s powerful House Republican delegation is trying to use its political clout this weekend to end longstanding intra-party warfare and select a speaker-designate the entire GOP can rally behind, The Post has learned.

“The New York GOP delegation is now throwing around its weight as a large delegation that built the majority and is interviewing each speaker candidate this weekend, led by the dean of the delegation,” House of Representatives Republican conference boss Elise Stefanik, said a senior state GOP official.

A top New York GOP campaign strategist said he expects Stefanik and the state delegation to play a huge role in determining the next speaker, adding he believes Stefanik will be able to unify the party to pick a nominee that can secure enough support to win.

“The New York Republican delegation, they are the majority makers and without them we don’t have a [House] majority,” the strategist said.

House Republicans return to Congress Monday as their internal battle over their new Speaker drags into its third week.AP

“I think they will have a very big [and] important voting bloc.”

New York holds 11 of 222 seats in the House Republican caucus — mainly in swing districts that the party must hold to keep its slender majority.

Prospective candidates have until noon Sunday to officially notify Stefanik, who is overseeing the Speaker selection process, of their candidacy.

Rep. Jim Jordan could not muster support from at least 217 Republicans, dooming his Speaker bid.JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Alex deGrasse, Stefanik’s senior advisor, said declared candidates will participate in a candidate forum Monday at 6:30 p.m. and an election to choose a speaker-designate will take place Tuesday at 9:00 a.m.

That’s when the GOP’s intra-party warfare could hit a new level of chaos, as up to a dozen candidates — from budget hawks and Trump surrogates to aisle-crossing centrists — vie to become the the third speaker-designate in as many weeks.

Tensions within the majority’s conference are at their highest since Oct. 3, when dissident Republicans joined Democrats to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy — then failed to unite behind two potential replacements, Rep. Steve Scalise and Rep. Jim Jordan, leaving the House handcuffed, unable to conduct any new business.

Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer, the current House majority whip, hopes to vault into the party’s top spot.AP

At the candidate forum, a fresh slate of speaker hopefuls will compete in another attempt to coalesce around a leader that at least 217 of the 222-member caucus — the necessary number to elect a new speaker in a full House vote — can agree on, however grudgingly.

“There’s a lot of baggage,” Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) said. “A lot of anger.”

The candidates include Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer, who as House majority whip is already near the top of its hierarchy.

Oklahoma Rep. Kevin Hern heads the Republican Study Committee, a large conservative caucus.REUTERS

McCarthy quickly endorsed Emmer, calling him “the right person for the job.” Florida Rep. Matt Goetz, who spearheaded McCarthy’s downfall, reportedly named Emmer as a potential compromise candidate earlier this month.

But an establishment Republican like Emmer could have difficulty healing the party’s fractured factions.

As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, he accepted donations from accused crypto crook Sam Bankman-Fried and his associates at FTX — and he’s been haunted by his past support of a Democrat-led effort to abolish the Electoral College

Rep. Byron Donalds, a two-term congressman from Florida, is a prominent supporter of former president Donald Trump.Getty Images

Oklahoma Rep. Kevin Hern has a natural base of support as chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the House’s largest conservative caucus, minus the grudges that accrue to high-ups like Emmer.

“There’s a lot of historical relationships that some are not going to be able to work around,” Hern told reporters Friday.

“I don’t have those negatives.”

Hern has been a vocal critic of continued spending in Ukraine, and has drawn fire for his proposals to raise the retirement age as a means of bailing out Social Security.

At 44, Florida Rep. Byron Donalds is the youngest legislator in the speaker race, and so far its only black contender.

A fierce supporter of former president Trump, Donalds was the main conservative challenger to McCarthy during the protracted 15-vote speaker election in January — but later became McCarthy’s ally, helping to broker the continuing resolution that averted a government shutdown last month.

Little-known Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.), who lost a conference vote to Jordan last week, renewed his bid for the speakership Friday, while 76-year-old Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich) entered the race for the first time and House Budget Committee chairman Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) said he was “seriously considering” it.

Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson also threw his hat into the ring Saturday, submitting his paperwork with Republican Conference leadership, as did Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, who is serving his 12th term in Congress.

“I know what it will take to move the Republican Party forward,” Sessions posted on X.

Electing a new speaker by the end of Tuesday is the “goal,” said speaker pro tem Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.).

That would mean a speaker vacancy of three full weeks, the longest power vacuum in the House since 1856, when it took two months — and 133 votes — to choose a new leader.

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