The Lead

U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser of Pennsylvania says he’s a candidate for Speaker of the House

By: - October 22, 2023 2:51 pm

U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser (R-PA) leaves a closed-door House Republican meeting at the U.S. Capitol on October 20, 2023 in Washington, DC. The House Republican caucus is searching for a new Speaker of the House candidate after Rep. Jim Jordan failed on three separate attempts to achieve a majority of votes in the House of Representatives. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Pennsylvania U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser (R-9th District) announced Sunday he was submitting his name for consideration as Speaker of the House. 

Meuser was Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Revenue under then-Gov. Tom Corbett before he was elected to the House in 2018, and has been a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump. Meuser was among the 147 lawmakers who voted to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss.

In his statement on Sunday, Meuser praised former speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California) for his “conservative victories,” and said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who both made unsuccessful bids for the job, “have epitomized honor, patriotism and leadership, and for that we are grateful.” 

The House has been without a speaker since Oct. 3, when McCarthy was ousted by a group of upstart, hard-right Republicans who voted along with House Democrats to remove him. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) has served as speaker pro tempore since. 

“Our current challenge as a Conference is not policy or fundraising but unity,” Meuser said in his statement. “In selecting our next Speaker, we are really choosing to unite and be a team and collectively be stewards of America’s best interests. We also need a Speaker who understands they must continue to earn the respect and trust of the vast majority if not all of the Conference.”

Meuser first mentioned he was considering seeking the role in an Oct. 17 interview with National Review, after the first of three votes on Jordan failed. “I’m not gonna let this kindergarten continue. I’ll do it,” Meuser said.

Meuser added in his statement on Sunday that the GOP needed to “adapt and strategize to ensure that every voice is truly represented. Amid the prevailing challenges of Washington, we have an obligation to transition from being a mere piece in the puzzle to becoming leaders of the solution.”

He added that he would seek to “echo the business principle of ‘checking one’s ego at the door,’” adding it was “crucial that we build trust with the American people so as we are in prime position to win the House and the Senate, and the all-important White House in 2024.”

Meuser joins a crowded field of Republicans seeking the speaker’s gavel, which includes Reps. Austin Scott of Georgia, Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, Jack Bergman of Michigan, Tom Emmer of Minnesota, Mike Johnson of Louisiana, Byron Donalds of Florida, Gary Palmer of Alabama, and Pete Sessions of Texas. Two other Texas Congressmen, Jodey Arrington and Roger Williams, who had been mentioned as candidates for the job, both said Sunday they would not pursue it.

As of this writing, a candidate forum for a new speaker designee is scheduled to be held Monday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

This article was updated at 12:10 p.m. Oct. 23, 2023 to add Reps. Gary Palmer and Mike Johnson to the list of speaker candidates

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Kim Lyons
Kim Lyons

Kim Lyons is a veteran western Pennsylvania journalist who has covered people and trends in politics and business for local and national publications. Follow her on Threads @social_kimly