(Reuters) – A small group of rebellious Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives succeeded in ousting their leader, Speaker Kevin McCarthy, on Tuesday in a historic first.
It was unclear who would succeed McCarthy, but these are a few possibilities:
Representative Matt Gaetz, the lawmaker who spearheaded the push to oust McCarthy, has said he would support Steve Scalise taking over the role. Scalise is the No. 2 House Republican and has long been favored to take over the head of the Republican Party in the chamber after McCarthy’s tenure ended.
Representative Tom Emmer is the House Republican whip and had headed the House Republicans’ campaign arm during the 2022 midterm elections, when Republicans recaptured the House majority from President Joe Biden’s Democrats.
Representative Jim Jordan, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee and an ally of former President Donald Trump, was nominated by some Republican rebels to be the speaker during the election to the seat in January. He received 20 votes during one round of voting.
Hardline Representative Byron Donalds, considered a rising star in the Republican Party, garnered 20 votes during one of the rounds of voting for the speaker’s race in January.
Historically, the House has always elected one of its own as speaker, but the U.S. Constitution does not say that the job has to go to an elected member of the House. Some Republican allies of former President Donald Trump have suggested he could serve in the role, though the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination to challenge Biden has previously said he is not interested.
Gaetz voted for Trump to be the speaker during multiple rounds of the January vote and noted to reporters on Monday that the speaker does not need to be a member of Congress.
Representative Andy Ogles polled his followers on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, on Tuesday to ask who should be the speaker, and included Trump as one of the options.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries is the Democratic leader and garnered more votes than McCarthy during 11 rounds of voting in the speaker’s election.
Allies of Representative Kevin McCarthy could vote for him to be speaker again. McCarthy is no stranger to threats to his job. In January, when he was first elected speaker, he took the gavel after a blistering 15 rounds of voting.
(Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Scott Malone and Howard Goller)