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McCarthy backing Emmer, but isn’t closing the door on taking back the gavel

Former House Speaker is backing Majority Whip to be the next speaker of the House — but after more than two weeks and two candidates failing to garner enough support to earn the gavel, he’s not closing the door on a bid to get his old job back.

“I don’t need the title. I’m going to help in any way I can,” he told NBC’s Kristen Welker during an interview Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

When pressed on as to whether that meant he was ruling out throwing his hat in the ring again for the position, the California Republican dodged.

“I’m supporting Tom Emmer, but I’m going to tell you: I’m still a member of Congress, and I’m going to lead in any capacity to protect America. I’m going to work to secure our border. I’m going to work to stop the inflation. I’m going to make sure war does not break out in Israel, and that Israel has every resource they need to defend themselves. But most importantly, I’m going to press this administration,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy was ousted from his leadership position earlier this month by eight Republican hardliners led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) after he called up a stopgap spending bill that averted a shutdown without imposing any of the spending cuts or border policies that he’d vowed to push.

Republicans have been unable to come to a consensus on who should lead their caucus in the weeks since, with both Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) falling short. Without a speaker, the House is unable to conduct legislative work.

“This is embarrassing for the Republican Party. It’s embarrassing for the nation and we need to look at one another and solve the problem,” McCarthy said Sunday.