Tuesday Session to Pick Ohio's Next Speaker is Swimming in Uncertainty

May 21, 2018

Thee Ohio House is scheduled to meet Tuesday, but questions remain over who will lead that session and two others that are scheduled -- and whether they will still happen at all.

Last week’s House session was abruptly canceled after the Republican House Caucus failed to reach consensus on a choice to replace Cliff Rosenberger, who resigned in April amid an FBI inquiry that involved him.

Majority Republicans in the House have been privately quarreling over who will serve as speaker through the end of this year when this General Assembly ends. The GOP caucus must pick a candidate who will get at least 50 Republican votes on the House floor. The front runner is a Rosenberger ally, Ryan Smith, but he failed to come up with enough votes last week. The 33-member Democratic caucus has said it won’t help with votes and may put up its own candidate in a largely symbolic gesture.

A spokesman for the House says the first session is solely for a full House vote on a new speaker. But if that doesn’t happen, the House cannot vote on legislation until a new speaker is elected. More than a dozen bills are ready for a vote, including a controversial one that cracks down on payday lending.