Alabama's sixth district U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) announced Tuesday morning that he has withdrawn from the race for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Palmer issued the following statement on his Twitter X account:
I will work with the next speaker on the ideas I have laid out so Congress can come together and do the job the American people sent us here to do.— Gary Palmer (@USRepGaryPalmer) October 24, 2023
With this in mind, I am withdrawing my name from consideration for Speaker. pic.twitter.com/cz4Gwzg7Fa
Palmer belatedly entered the race for Speaker on October 22, just before a noon deadline.
Palmer's exit appears to leave eight candidates in the race, though the number is fluid:
Jack Bergman (MI)
Byron Donalds (FL)
Tom Emmer (MN)
Kevin Hern (OK)
Mike Johnson (LA)
Austin Scott (GA)
Pete Sessions (TX)
One other candidate withdrew Monday — Ohio's U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser.
About an hour before the House GOP Conference began meeting Monday evening, Palmer challenged all running for Speaker. He published five principles and asked his fellow contenders for the Speaker's chair to commit to them.
The "Palmer Principles" were on a political "push card" distributed to all Republican House members.
The push card was titled:
Bringing Stability Back to the House of Representatives
Palmer's five points are:
Fund the government on time with all single-subject appropriations bills passing the House by June 30.
Real spending cuts, NOT budget gimmicks.
No short-term Continuing Resolutions.
Enforce a true 72-hour rule allowing members and the American people time to review legislation.
Unite the Republican Conference before going to the House floor.
The Republicans then went behind closed doors to hear presentations from each of the nine contenders for the Speaker post. They presumably took Palmer's five principles with them. They adjourned after two-and-a-half hours until 9 a.m. Tuesday.
"The American people deserve a Republican Conference that is unified, transparent, and committed to the job. Before we vote Tuesday, every candidate should commit to these principles," Palmer said on Monday.
Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, had fallen short in three House votes for Speaker after becoming Republicans' speaker-designate, not reaching the 217 votes necessary. The GOP Conference then removed him as their designate Friday.
The House GOP Conference is expected to agree on their Republican designee Tuesday or Wednesday. After that, a vote of the whole House can elect a Speaker if a majority of votes is achieved. The House has been without a Speaker since October 4 and cannot transact business.
Palmer and all congress members are up for re-election next year. Palmer faces two opponents in the March 5 Republican primary — insurance executive Ken McFeeters and businessman Gerrick Wilkins. The deadline to qualify to run for office in Alabama is November 10.
The author, Jim Zeigler, is a retired Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor.
You can reach him for comment at [email protected].