US House of Representatives Adjourns Again After 11th Ballot Fails to Get Kevin McCarthy as New Speaker
The United States House of Representatives has adjourned after failing to vote for a new president for the 11th time.
Republican Party Leader Kevin McCarthy failed in every round to secure the 218 votes needed to win, and the House will now proceed to a 12th ballot at noon on Friday.
The loss means the race is now tied for the fifth-longest speaker selection process in history – an election that took place more than 200 years ago, in 1821.
Read more: It’s hard not to see parallels between the chaos of the US Republican Party and Britain’s Conservatives, writes Adam Boulton
Republicans took control of the House after the midterm elections, where they won a narrow majority of 222 votes to 212.
However, the deadlock in the vote for a new president exposed the divisions within the party in what is usually a routine vote at the start of a legislative session.
At least 200 Republicans have backed Mr. McCarthy in each of this week’s votes and while less than 10% of Republican lawmakers voted against him, that’s enough to deny him the 218 he needs to succeed Nancy Pelosi in office. presidency.
Mr McCarthy has failed to win the support he needs to be elected president due to a group of 20 hardliners who continue to refuse to support him.
The house sat for eight hours in an effort to get a result
Thursday’s session continued for eight hours nonstop, which included a speech by GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida naming former President Donald Trump, who is no longer a member of the House, in a token but pointed to broad divisions within the party.
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Mr McCarthy has been the House’s top Republican since 2019 and successfully led his party’s efforts to take control of the House in the 2022 midterm elections.
He won the support of Mr. Trump, but is under increasing pressure from Republicans and Democrats to get the votes, so the House can get back to business.
The key issue McCarthy won’t budge on
To win support, Mr. McCarthy has already agreed to many of his opponents’ demands, but has resisted implementing one of the key demands, which is to reinstate a rule that would allow a single lawmaker to seek a motion to leave the chair.
This would essentially allow a lawmaker to call a vote in the House to oust the president.
Among Mr. McCarthy’s main opponents is Scott Perry, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus – the most right-wing ideological group in the House and home to almost all of his opponents.
With his party’s narrow majority, Mr McCarthy cannot afford to lose the support of more than four Republicans as Democrats coalesce around their own candidate – Hakeem Jeffries.
The House, which represents half of Congress, is essentially at a standstill, unable to start the new session, swear in elected members and conduct official business.
The Speaker of the United States House holds a post that normally shapes the agenda of the chamber and is second in line to the presidency – behind Vice Speaker Kamala Harris.
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