House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said Republicans were playing a “dangerous game” with the Speakership fight and warned of global consequences in further delaying the selection of the next House Speaker.
“It’s a dangerous game that we’re playing. It just proves our adversaries right that democracy doesn’t work,” McCaul said to reporters, outside the House GOP conference meeting Thursday.
“Our adversaries are watching us. And Israel is watching. They need our help,” McCaul added, noting that his bipartisan resolution with the top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), condemning Hamas and reaffirming support for Israel cannot come to the floor until there’s a new Speaker in place.
“We can’t even vote on that until we put a Speaker in the chair,” he continued, referring to the resolution. “And I’m going to remind my colleagues about how dangerous this is.”
McCaul also said he was “in discussions” with the White House about a possible aid package for Israel, adding, “If we don’t have a Speaker, we can’t assist Israel in this great time of need after this terrorist attack.”
“So I think we’re playing with fire. And we need to stop playing games and politics with this and vote a Speaker in,” he added.
McCaul’s remarks come as House Republicans struggle to elect a new Speaker, after the House voted last week to remove former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from his post.
On Wednesday, House Republicans voted 113-99 via secret ballot to nominate House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) over Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) to be Speaker.
Scalise can only afford to lose four House Republican votes — barring “present” votes and absences — to become Speaker. At least a dozen House Republicans, however, have already said they would not vote for Scalise, making his path to the Speakership more difficult.