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House Speaker election debacle could raise national security concerns

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New members of Congress and intelligence experts have warned that the delay in electing a Speaker of the House could endanger national security and raise concerns among US allies.

“The Biden administration is unchecked and there is no oversight from the White House, the State Department, the Department of Defense or the intelligence community,” Reps. Mike Turner (R -Ohio), Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Michael. McCaul (R-Texas) — the presumed chairmen of the House Intelligence, Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees, respectively — said in a joint statement Thursday. “We cannot allow personal politics to endanger the safety and security of the United States.”

They also said they “strongly support” Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for Speaker of the House. McCarthy served as the House Republican leader, but the 2022 midterm elections swung control of the House from Democrats to the GOP.

As of Thursday afternoon, a group of hard-line Republicans had blocked McCarthy from being elected president 10 times in three days. Since lawmakers cannot be sworn in until a president is elected, committees cannot begin their work.

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) said he was not permitted to participate in a meeting with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff because he was briefed by House Security that ‘he didn’t have the proper clearance yet, CNN reported.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaks with Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) before the eighth ballot for Speaker of the House on Thursday.

Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

“If the extremely small group of lawmakers are able to hold Congress – and indeed the country – hostage to their unreasonable demands, it can potentially create a major risk to US aid, US defense and diplomatic spending.” , said Brett Bruen, a former US diplomat, told HuffPost.

Bruen also warned that American allies could be alarmed by the unpredictability in the House.

“This, I think, exacerbates the already weakened faith that our allies have in American leadership and in our democracy,” he said.

It’s not inherently concerning that there’s a protracted election process for Speaker of the House, Bruen said. But he called it “very unusual” that “such a small [number] members are able to wield such a degree of influence and essentially demand that the party become an extension of their extreme agenda.

“That, I think, is particularly dangerous,” he added.

Thomas Juneau, an associate professor of international affairs at the University of Ottawa and a former analyst for Canada’s Department of National Defence, said US allies might be worried watching what’s happening in the House of Representatives.

“It’s easy to watch the clown show in the US Congress and take advantage of Republicans who are peeling themselves,” he said. tweeted Thursday. “But for U.S. allies like Canada and others, the paralysis, instability and unpredictability this represents is a potentially life-threatening threat.”

The Huffington Gt

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