Former Vice President Mike Pence is offering his support for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in his bid for Speaker, urging Republicans to rally around the former minority leader after the House on Tuesday failed to secure a Speaker on its first ballot for the first time in 100 years.
Pence joins his former boss, ex-President Trump, in calling for GOP lawmakers to cast their ballots for McCarthy.
“Urging Every Republican in @HouseGOP to support my friend, Kevin McCarthy as the next Speaker of the House,” Pence tweeted on Wednesday. “@GOPLeader’s Leadership & Vision led to The New Republican Majority & I know Speaker McCarthy will lead the House to begin a Great American Comeback!”
Pence’s public backing of McCarthy came less than two hours before the second day of voting for Speaker is set to start.
McCarthy on Tuesday was blocked from seizing the gavel by 20 GOP House members who are refusing to support him.
“Some really good conversations took place last night, and it’s now time for all of our GREAT Republican House Members to VOTE FOR KEVIN, CLOSE THE DEAL, TAKE THE VICTORY, & WATCH CRAZY NANCY PELOSI FLY BACK HOME TO A VERY BROKEN CALIFORNIA,” Trump posted on Truth Social on Wednesday morning.
McCarthy said on Tuesday night that Trump had reiterated his support for his bid for Speaker.
But Republicans entered Wednesday without a clear path ahead, and some members have started to float the idea of an alternative.
McCarthy, who launched an unsuccessful bid for Speaker in 2015, has started to hint at the idea that he could win the gavel with a lower vote threshold than the 218 needed to secure an outright majority of House members. This would involve some Republicans not voting for a particular candidate.