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Tags: patrick mchenry | protem | house | israel | aid | speaker

Acting Speaker Says House Will Act on Israel If Needed

By    |   Tuesday, 10 October 2023 04:08 PM EDT

Acting House Speaker Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., said Tuesday that the chamber will move on aiding Israel "if we need to act" before a new permanent speaker is elected.

Only one problem with that — McHenry, serving as speaker pro tempore, doesn't have the authority to do anything other than act on matters related to electing a new speaker. Under House rules, all McHenry can do is gavel in, gavel out and preside over the election process.

To do anything else, McHenry would have to be elected by the House as pro tem, NBC News reported; McHenry is the appointed temporary speaker. McHenry is so limited in his powers that even condemning the attack on Israel would mean the House having to vote to allow him to do it.

However, Politico reports that the lack of a precedent for this situation could give McHenry latitude on testing the boundaries.

At issue is an immediate aid package for Israel in the aftermath of the Hamas incursion over the weekend. For one, Israel's missile defense system — called Iron Dome — needs to be replenished.

"If we need to act as a government, we will," McHenry said Tuesday.

Further, the paralysis in the House brought on by last week's ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is compounded by the Senate being out on recess this week.

Meanwhile, the House is nowhere closer to electing a new speaker.

The candidates, Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Steve Scalise, R-La., are making their case to the GOP conference in a closed-door forum Tuesday night. Allies of McCarthy, however, are mulling nominating him, CNN reported, a move that would prolong and complicate the proceedings.

In the aftermath of the Hamas-Israel conflict, McCarthy reversed himself and said he'd be willing to come back as speaker, given the Israel crisis, if there's no clear winner between Jordan and Scalise. McCarthy has also withheld an endorsement for either candidate.

The Republican conference remains bitterly divided, reportedly still stinging from the uprising that removed McCarthy in the first place. Just eight Republicans voted McCarthy out.

McCarthy held a press conference Monday about Israel, adding that Congress "cannot do anything without electing" a speaker.

But immediate support for Israel hangs in the balance.

"I need a speaker who could bring 218 people together to make sure that we have Israel's back in this fight," Rep. Zach Nunn, R-Iowa, told Politico. "At this point, we know who the candidates are. The conference needs to come together and we need to elect a speaker and get down to doing the people's business."

Mark Swanson

Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Acting House Speaker Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., said Tuesday that the chamber will move on aiding Israel "if we need to act" before a new permanent speaker is elected.
patrick mchenry, protem, house, israel, aid, speaker
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2023-08-10
Tuesday, 10 October 2023 04:08 PM
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