House Republicans objected to a planned televised debate between candidates for US House speaker forcing it to be abruptly postponed — for now, a person familiar with the plan said.
(Bloomberg) — House Republicans objected to a planned televised debate between candidates for US House speaker forcing it to be abruptly postponed — for now, a person familiar with the plan said.
Disgruntled rank-and-file House members, many of whom learned of the Monday debate through news reports, insisted that they want a party conference where they can privately question candidates first. Such a meeting is currently scheduled for Tuesday at the Capitol.
Steve Scalise, the second-ranking House Republican leader, and Jim Jordan, a founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, were both scheduled to participate in the Fox News debate. Kevin Hern, who hasn’t yet announced he will seek the post but has been testing support, said he wouldn’t participate.
“We need to make this decision as a conference, not on TV,” Hern said on X, the site formerly known as Twitter. “The Republican conference needs a family discussion.”
The televised debate, while an unusual public forum for campaigning in a party leadership election, could be rescheduled, the person familiar with the discussion said. Plans are in flux.
A Jordan spokesman said he wants to meet with the conference first.
“Mr. Jordan is always happy to share his plan for the country, but he believes it is crucial to meet with the GOP conference before the event,” Russell Dye, a Jordan spokesman, said.
House Republicans are selecting a new party leader amid extraordinary internal tensions that led to the ouster of Speaker Kevin McCarthy this week. Legislative business has ground to a halt, sending Washington hurtling toward a potential US government shutdown in mid-November.
Former President Donald Trump threw his support behind Jordan, the bombastic House Judiciary Committee chairman who has pressed for an impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden and criticized federal prosecutions of Trump.
(Updates with Hern in third and fourth paragraphs)
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