House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced Monday that he will postpone the elections for the Republican leadership positions until after the House formally chooses a new speaker on Oct. 29.
The GOP conference will meet Thursday, Oct. 8 to pick its candidate for speaker of the House. The vote by the full House of Representatives will occur on Oct. 29, after which the new speaker will establish the date for elections to pick a new majority leader and other leaders.
"This new process will ensure House Republicans have a strong, unified team to lead our conference and focus on the American people's priorities," Boehner said in a statement.
The candidates to succeed Boehner - who announced his resignation last month - include Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Florida. Chaffetz officially announced his intent to run for speaker over the weekend, arguing that McCarthy would not be able to secure enough votes.
The nominee will need to secure the majority of votes cast in the full chamber during the Oct. 29 vote.
Even after the conference settles on a nominee Thursday, the impending election could prove to be one of the most contested in history.
But it wouldn't be the first drawn-out election. In 1923, it took members nine ballots to settle on a speaker. Still, the longest election for the post took place in 1855-1856, when the incoming Republican Party, which had been created just a year earlier, took more than two months to choose a man to wield the gavel.
The timing of the elections now also threatens to bump up against the fight over increasing the debt limit. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said last week that the U.S. would exhaust its ability to borrow money on Nov. 5.
CBS News Radio Correspondent Steven Portnoy contributed to this story.