WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, House Republicans met again behind closed doors to figure out next steps toward filling the speaker vacancy. It's been over two weeks since the House ousted Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from the role. 

With conflict abroad and growing concerns in Israel and Gaza, members are eager for a return to order.  

A third vote for speaker was expected earlier today. Instead, Republicans met again behind closed doors to float the idea of temporarily expanding the powers of Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R- NC). The idea is strongly supported by Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) and other members who don’t support Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-OH) run for Speaker. Kelly is one of 22 Republicans who did not vote for Jordan on Wednesday.  

Kelly introduced a resolution to expand McHenry's powers as Speaker Pro Tempore. However, on Thursday, many members expressed concerns over the legality and precedent such a move would set. 

On their way out of the closed-door meeting, several members said the resolution was “dead” or that it would not be taken to the floor for a vote, opting instead to continue trying to elect a new speaker.  

During a break from the closed-door meeting, Kelly told Erie News Now he thinks resolution is the best option to help get the House back to work, but is open to the will of the majority, saying “if it's not the will of the conference, it's not the will of the conference. I’ll still get up tomorrow. I’ll still go to mass. I’ll still pray for this country," said Kelly. 

Leaving today’s conference, Jordan said he is not dropping out of the race. He indicated the House will vote for a third time, but he didn’t specify as to when that could happen. 

Jordan plans to speak with the Republicans, like Kelly, who did not support him ahead of a third vote to see if their support is possible and what it might take to earn it.