Wednesday, January 4, 2023

LIVE: Chaos in Congress as Republicans Struggle to Select a House Speaker

by Nomad

Chaos reigned in the US Congress on Tuesday as the Republicans struggled to select a House Speaker. Yesterday, in what should have been a day of pomp and triumph for the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, turned out to be a historic embarrassment. The presumed nominee, Kevin McCarthy, failed - three times - to find enough votes to become Speaker.
Until yesterday, the selection was considered a no-brainer, a mere formality. However, McCarthy appears to have grossly underestimated the opposition within his own party.

Despite making numerous compromises to the extremist wing of his party, McCarthy came up short. To add to the public humiliation for McCarthy, the third vote even saw the leader of the House Democratic Caucus and the Minority Leader, Hakeem Jeffries, receive more votes than McCarthy. By tradition and precedent, no other business can be done until the House picks its leader. That means the new Congress cannot be sworn in until this is somehow resolved.

Ultimately the House was forced to adjourn Tuesday without selecting a new speaker. Behind closed doors, McCarthy must somehow appease the rebellious faction of his own party while, at the same time, not conceding too much which could isolate the more moderate members. That, says the political analysts, may not even be possible.

Tuesday's vote failure marked the first time in 100 years that the House speaker vote went to multiple ballots and only the eighth time in US history that a speaker had not been chosen in three attempts. As CNN points out:
There is no playbook for what the chamber will do if the speaker isn’t elected on the first ballot. The 1923 vote was decided on the ninth ballot, where they kept voting until a speaker was decided. The 1869 speaker vote lasted through 60 ballots over two months.
Watch LIVE at Nomadic Politics as the House returns to the Capitol to resume this three-way political tug-of-war. Coverage begins a 12 pm EST.