The Phoenix Flyer

Gary Palmer of Alabama withdraws from U.S. House Speaker race

By: - October 24, 2023 10:38 am

U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer of Alabama. (U.S. Congress)

U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Hoover, has withdrawn from the race for speaker of the house, just two days after declaring his candidacy for the position.

Palmer said in a statement Tuesday morning that a Monday night forum among the candidates for the position had given him hope for Congress, and that he saw broad consensus on issues he considered important, including spending cuts and timely consideration of legislation.

“Congress and the American people needed a Republican Speaker three weeks ago,” the statement said. “If withdrawing my name can help expedite that process even a little, then I will gladly step aside.”

Palmer’s withdrawal leaves seven Republicans in the race: Jack Bergman of Michigan; Byron Donalds of Florida; Tom Emmer of Minnesota; Kevin Hern of Oklahoma; Mike Johnson of Louisiana; Austin Scott of Georgia and Pete Sessions of Texas.

Dan Meuser of Pennsylvania withdrew from the race on Monday.

Palmer, a five-term congressman who previously led the Alabama Policy Institute, a conservative think tank, said he would be running for the position on Sunday, saying Congress had to “make the reforms necessary to ensure fiscal responsibility and restore people’s faith in their government.”

There has not been a Speaker of the House since Kevin McCarthy, R-California, was removed from the position on Oct. 3.

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, was first nominated by the GOP caucus after McCarthy’s ouster, but later withdrew from consideration. U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, became the caucus’ next candidate, but lost three floor votes and was later voted out as the caucus’ nominee.

House Republicans plan to meet Tuesday for a series of votes on their next nominee. The last-place finisher in each ballot will be eliminated.

The United States has not had a Speaker for over 20 days, the longest amount of time without a Speaker since 1962, according to NBC News.

The last Alabamian to serve as U.S. House Speaker was William Bankhead, a Democrat who held the position from 1936 to 1940.

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Jemma Stephenson
Jemma Stephenson

Jemma covers education as a reporter for the Alabama Reflector. She previously worked at the Montgomery Advertiser and graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.