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Pro-Ukraine US House speaker candidate drops out after Trump backlash

Tom Emmer failed to win broad support of the Republican Party before the House vote.
The US House of Representatives. Photo: history.com
Pro-Ukraine US House speaker candidate drops out after Trump backlash

US Republican congressman Tom Emmer dropped speaker bid a few hours after being elected the GOP nominee for Speaker of the House of Representatives on 24 October on an internal vote in a closed-door meeting of Republicans, the Washington Post reported.

Tom Emmer failed to win over broad GOP support in a vote before the full House. Emmer decided to drop his bid under pressure from the far-right, Trumpist wing of the Republican Party, which refused to support him.

Tom Emmer
Republican Tom Emmer.
Photo by Eric Connolly.

The majority of the GOP faction (the Republican Party) in the US House of Representatives voted for Republican Tom Emmer as the Speaker nominee on a fifth ballot in the internal race in a closed-door meeting of Republicans. In the last round, Tom Emmer beat Republican Mike Johnson from Louisiana: 117 Republicans voted for Emmer, while 97 Republicans voted for Johnson.

After that, the faction of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives began discussing the conditions under which Emmer’s candidacy would be supported in a vote in the House.

The Republican Party has a formal majority in the House of Representatives (the lower house of the US Congress) with 221 seats. To be elected as a House Speaker, a candidate must secure 217 votes. Several representatives of the far-right wing of the Republican Party have stated that they will not support Tom Emmer under any circumstances.

Former US President Donald Trump took direct aim at Emmer in a social media post on 24 October, saying that voting for Emmer would be “a tragic mistake.”

Emmer is considered a mainstream Republican who believes that the Republican Party should continue to support Ukraine. Republicans are divided on helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian invasion. Most Republicans in the US Congress, including Tom Emmer, have repeatedly voted to support Ukraine.

According to the Washington Post, several candidates for House speaker emerged after Tom Emmer dropped out, including the following Republicans: Byron Donalds, Charles J. “Chuck” Fleischmann, Mark Green, Mike Johnson, and Roger Williams.

Byron Donalds, Mike Johnson, and Roger Williams repeatedly voted against support for Ukraine in the US Congress. Charles J. “Chuck” Fleischmann and Mark Green consistently voted to support Ukraine.

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