Chaos opn Capitol Hill
January 6, 2023 - The Republican party remains at war over who to elect as the next speaker of the House of Representatives. Failing to secure enough votes marks the longest House speaker ballot since 1855.
The political stalemate that began Tuesday (January 3, 2023), and which has prevented the 118th Congress from conducting any business, sees Republican Kevin McCarthy offering concessions to far-right holdouts who have denied him support in his bid for speaker.
McCarthy, seeking the House gavel previously held by Democrat Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, has failed to garner the 218 votes necessary as 20 Republican members of the House Freedom Caucus continuously cast their ballots against him.
“We’ve got some progress going on,” McCarthy said late Thursday. “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”
Concessions McCarthy has presented to the holdouts and others centre around rule changes they have been seeking for months.
At the core of the emerging deal is the reinstatement of a House rule that would allow a single lawmaker to make a motion to “vacate the chair,” essentially calling a vote to oust the speaker.
The deadlock leaves the U.S. political system at a standstill. The speaker is next in line after the U.S. president and vice president to lead the nation.
“If there’s a real emergency, we couldn’t respond,” Democrat Representative Jerrold Nadler said. “Either the Republicans don’t understand that, or they do understand that and they don’t care. I don’t know which is worse, but it is a profound danger to the country as long as it lasts.”
- Kevin McCarthy offers deal to end standoff in U.S. House speaker fight (The Associated Press)
- U.S. House brawl over McCarthy raises worries about Republican governance (Reuters)
- 12th vote for House speaker set for Friday; McCarthy offers agreement to end standoff (ABC, Inc., WPVI-TV Philadelphia)
- House adjourns with no speaker elected; McCarthy loses 11th vote (UPI)