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 Chaos in U.S. Congress infographic
Graphic shows three Republicans causing chaos in the U.S. Congress.


Chaos in U.S. Congress

By Duncan Mil

January 4, 2023 - Deadlock over who will lead the incoming Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a scandal engulfing a newly elected Republican representative is rocking the U.S. Congress.

It is the first time since 1923 that a new Republican majority in the House has failed to elect a Speaker on the first ballot.

On Tuesday (January 3, 2023), California congressman Kevin McCarthy, 57, lost three consecutive votes for Speaker, failing to reach the required 218-vote threshold. A group of 19 primarily pro-Trump House Freedom Caucus conservatives voted against McCarthy.

Jim Jordan, 58, the hardline co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, is a potential alternative to McCarthy. As Speaker, Jordan will likely push hard for steep cuts to domestic programmes, including social services and be a voice against abortion and LGBTQ rights.

Meanwhile, George Santos, 34, the newly elected congressman to represent the wealthy New York Jewish communities of Long Island and Queens, cut a lonely figure on his first formal day in Washington.

Santos, who has acknowledged misrepresenting essential details about his career, sat alone in the House chamber while other members ignored him.

Santos claimed to be a “proud American Jew” while practising Catholicism. He also declared his grandparents fled the Holocaust when they were born in Brazil. He also says he worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and obtained a degree from the prestigious Baruch College in New York -- all inaccurate assertions.

Santos also faces a criminal case in Brazil for using a stolen chequebook and a false name.

No other House business can be conducted, including swearing in new and returning members, until the Speaker is elected. The House has adjourned until noon ET (17:00GMT) on Wednesday to try again.

PUBLISHED: 04/01/2023; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images