What’s next for House Republicans? Former Rep. Zeldin, in Rochester, weighs in

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Lee Zeldin, a former Republican congressman and gubernatorial candidate, weighed in Wednesday on the previous day’s ousting of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House.

In Zeldin’s view, it’s time for decisive action on the part of House Republicans.

“First thought is, the need for Republicans to quickly unite, to settle on who their next speaker is,” Zeldin said, while in Rochester on Wednesday for an event with Monroe County Republicans.

On the steps of the Capitol on Tuesday, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz included Zeldin in a short list of names being considered by House Republicans for the speaker’s role. Gaetz was one of eight Republicans who, along with the Democrats who were present, voted to vacate the speaker’s position.

“I think it’s clear that Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan are going in to shoot their shot. They have wide support. They have a lot of support across the conference. They have a lot of overlapping support,” Zeldin said.

That’s support that Zeldin feels will ultimately lead to a speaker being selected from Congress, despite the ongoing conversations he’s been having with Gaetz and other members of the GOP conference.

“The outreach has continued since, but none of that outreach in my mind I would consider to be serious at this point,” Zeldin said.

Even with no speaker in place and a short-term spending bill set to expire on Nov. 17, Zeldin said that there is a way to move forward.

“if they have their act together over the course of the next week and they get a new speaker — and they are more unified than they were before and they get to work –well maybe the house is functioning better than it was, maybe getting more done that it was previously,” Zeldin said.