Democrats join call for vote on Ohio House speaker; local GOP lawmakers split

Democrats join call for vote on Ohio House speaker; local GOP lawmakers split

COLUMBUS, OH (AP/FOX19) - House Democrats are joining those calling for a speedy resolution to Ohio's impasse over selection of its next speaker.

House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn of Dayton says Democrats want a floor vote for speaker. They don't want to change House rules to keep the chamber's temporary leader at the helm through the end of the year.

Rep. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) has been in charge since the former House Speaker, Cliff Rosenberger, resigned in April amid an FBI investigation.

FBI raids former Ohio House speaker's residence, storage unit

Schuring has given representatives until 5 p.m. Friday to choose between taking a vote Wednesday or changing House rules to make him acting speaker through December.

Former Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) wants his old job next year and backs Schuring.

Supporters of speaker candidate Ryan Smith are calling for a vote.

A lawmaker from the Tri-State, State Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Green Township), said he sees merit in either proposal but prefers changing House rules to keep Schuring acting speaker through year's end.

A floor vote would take some five hours, he noted, turning the proceeding into a "circus-like spectacle."

Meanwhile, the House's business has been stalled for nearly two weeks with about 160 bills waiting for action, including ones relating to payday lending and gun safety, lawmakers say.

"When we finally resolve this, there will be one or two or three marathon sessions at which the backlog of bills will be voted on," Seitz said.

"Cliff's resignation brought to the forefront the looming and yet unresolved fight over who will the speaker next session and that was going to be a fight that would be held after the November election, but it was accelerated into this time frame when Cliff resigned."

Another local lawmaker, State Rep. George Lang (R-West Chester), said he wants to see the full floor vote.

"We are just in stalemate," he said. "When I went up there I thought i would be watching Democrats fight with Republicans and what I am watching is Republicans fight with Republicans.

"Maybe it is a good thing that Republicans are fighting, more voices are being heard, more opinions are being put forward but, in general, we are not getting the people's work done. We are not doing what we were sent up there to do."

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press and WXIX.  All rights reserved.