Kevin McCarthy failed for the third time in the elections for Speaker of the US House of Representatives. The California Republican congressman received just 202 votes in this third round. There were 20 Republican rebels and they voted for Jim Jordan. Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jefferies received 212 votes, totaling his party’s deputies. the McCarthy already failed in the first historic vote: This is the first time this has happened in the past 100 years in the United States. A humiliating result for the California Republican, the Trumpian wing opposed it, given that his party has a majority in the House of Representatives. The failure to elect a Speaker now paralyzes the Assembly, which cannot even proceed to take the oath of Representatives.
Just an hour earlier, the Republican deputy had failed for the second time, receiving only 203 votes, as on the first ballot. There were 19 Republican rebels and they always voted for Jordan. Dame Jeffries received 212 votes, i.e. the votes of all his party’s representatives. The second refusal occurred even though Jordan had publicly asked his party colleagues to vote for McCarthy.
According to the Politico website, McCarthy and his allies will now try to pacify the insurgency by targeting repeated votes to increase pressure from colleagues on the insurgents. So, at the moment, there seems to be a struggle between supporters of McCarthy, the Republican minority leader in the former legislature, and Trumpists who consider him too moderate and close to the establishment.
After the first rejection, rebel Andy Biggs tweeted that McCarthy should “step down and let’s pick someone else”. “Before us is Kevin. He does not intend to leave. It will last for months if neededOne McCarthy supporter, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, commented, citing Politico.
McCarthy needed at least 218 votes on the first ballot, which he could have had if the party had strongly supported him. Instead, 10 votes went to Republican Representative Andy Biggs, who was chosen by far-right wing rebel Paul Gosar, while nine lawmakers distributed the vote among other candidates.
The Speaker of Parliament is elected today as the new Congress opens, following the midterm elections in November. The Republicans won a majority of 222 seats, compared to the Democrats’ 212. Thus ended the era of Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Although the GOP won the majority, the success did not live up to expectations with several candidates backed by former President Donald Trump failing. McCarthy’s insult now underscores the ongoing clash between the Trumpian and more moderate wing of the party.
In the Senate, where the Democrats retained the majority, the Republicans reappointed Mitch McConnell as minority leader. The Kentucky senator thus became the longest-serving party leader in Senate history.
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