Congress Voices Unified Denouncement Of Hamas Attack, Lack Of House Speaker Stalls Support

Republicans and Democrats, from one end of the capitol to the other, have denounced the attack by Hamas. Some members would like to do more than that, though, which requires having a Speaker of the House in place.

Tuesday, October 10th 2023, 12:07 pm



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Governor Kevin Stitt has ordered all flags lowered to half-staff in a show of support for Israel.

Oklahoma's congressional delegation has also promised to provide support to Israel, but that can't happen until a new Speaker of the House is selected.

Republicans and Democrats, from one end of the capitol to the other, have denounced the attack by Hamas. Some members would like to do more than that, though, which requires having a Speaker of the House in place.

Related Story: Congress Paralyzed Without House Speaker As Israel Battles With Hamas

“Now is the time for action,” said Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

Just-removed ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy called on the administration Monday to take decisive steps to protect the lives of American hostages and to defend Israel.

“We should supply and make sure there's no question and no doubt Israel will ever be overwhelmed when it comes to ammunition,” said McCarthy.

The US provides Israel with about three billion dollars in military aid annually, and the administration has promised to do more if needed.

Members of the Oklahoma delegation called for support and prayers "for the people of Israel who are facing unbelievable attacks by an Iranian-backed terrorist group."

Additional action from Congress only happens with a Speaker. Jim Jordan and Steve Scalise are the two in the running for the race.

“All I’m saying is we need to unite the conference—I think I can do that,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).

Oklahoma's Kevin Hern dropped out of the running over the weekend.

“I'm going to step aside and let them give their best case why they should be Speaker of the House,” said Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK).

And yet, it could be a three-man race after all. On Monday, McCarthy didn't say he would not run if nominated, and he clearly still has supporters.

“I've said throughout this that I supported Kevin McCarthy. I believe he's the right person to lead,” said Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY).

Hern said this moment is bigger than any individual person.

“Especially with what we're seeing right now in Israel--I think it's time we do everything we can to unify our party,” Hern said.

The plan right now is for Republicans to hold a private candidate forum on Tuesday and then have an internal vote on Wednesday. It’s not clear when there might be a vote on the House floor, but leaders are hoping it gets done this week.

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