Watch CBS News

Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer announces bid for House speaker nomination

Rep. Tom Emmer announces bid for House speaker nomination
Rep. Tom Emmer announces bid for House speaker nomination 00:59

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Tom Emmer has officially announced his intentions to become the next U.S. House speaker following the unprecedented removal of Rep. Kevin McCarthy earlier this month.

On Saturday morning, Emmer tweeted that he would be running for the position "to bring our conference together and get back to work."

Emmer went on to say that, in the last 10 months with a Republican majority in the House, "our Conference has shown what we can accomplish when we come together as a team. ... Our conference remains at a crossroads and the deck is stacked against us. We have no choice but to fight like hell to hold on to our House Majority and deliver on our conservative agenda."

The leadership vacuum in the House has left Congress unable to conduct business, and bids from Republican Reps. Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan were both shot down by different factions of the House Republican caucus.

Emmer had earlier said he would not seek the speakership, instead saying he would go for a position as the House Majority Leader. Currently, he's in the number three spot in House leadership as majority whip.

RELATED: GOP drops Jim Jordan as nominee after 3rd loss

Finstad announces support for Emmer

Late Friday, Minnesota Congressman Brad Finstad announced that he would support Emmer for Speaker of the House:

"I have known Congressman Emmer for more than twenty years, since our time serving in the Minnesota Legislature," Finstad said. "From the day that I arrived in Congress, it has been a privilege to work alongside Tom and I have come to truly appreciate him as a mentor and as a friend."

"In January, our Conference elected Congressman Emmer to be our Majority Whip – a position in which Tom has shown profound leadership. Whether it's across Minnesota or across the country, Congressman Emmer has the trust and respect necessary to lead the People's House. I am happy to support him for Speaker.

"The American people deserve a functioning Congress. It is my hope that my House colleagues can come together to get this election done, get the House back in order, and get back to working for the American people."

In the interim period since McCarthy's ouster, Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry has been serving as speaker pro tempore.

Rep. Ken Buck, of Colorado, voted for Emmer multiple times during the most recent votes for speaker, during which Jordan failed to secure enough votes to secure the role.

Rep. Tom Emmer WCCO

Earlier this month, Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips said he did not regret his vote to remove McCarthy, and suggested his colleague Emmer as a replacement.

RELATED: Rep. Dean Phillips steps down from leadership role over stance on Biden's 2024 candidacy

"Congress cannot do a single thing until my GOP friends choose a new Speaker of the House. And it is their choice. They're in the majority. It is their task, it's their job. We cannot do anything. What should we do? We have to support Israel. We have to support Ukraine. It's not just about nations and other countries around the world. This is about an existential threat to freedom and to democracy," Phillips said.

Other candidates

Soon after the GOP conference dropped Jordan as its speaker nominee, some Republicans began thinking about whether they should take a shot at the speakership.

Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma told reporters, "I'm in," and added, "We've got to make a lot of phone calls this weekend." 

Hern had earlier considered running after McCarthy's ouster and said in a letter to colleagues that he "called, texted or met" with all 221 Republicans in the conference to ask what they wanted to see in their next speaker. But he withdrew from the race because he believed a "three-man race for Speaker will only draw this process out longer, creating further division which would make it harder for any candidate to reach 217 votes." 

Rep. Jack Bergman of Michigan also said he was entering the race.

"My hat is in the ring, and I feel confident I can win the votes where others could not. I have no special interests to serve; I'm only in this to do what's best for our Nation and to steady the ship for the 118th Congress," he said in a statement.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.