After three rounds of voting, during which the Republican majority was unable to secure enough support to elect Kevin McCarthy as speaker, an unprecedented occurrence that had not happened in a century, the US House of Representatives postponed the evening’s presidential election vote until Wednesday morning. McCarthy, a representative from California, was unable in persuading a group of fellow Donald Trump backers to vote for him to succeed Nancy Pelosi on three consecutive rounds because they continued to believe he was too moderate.
This outcome illustrates the stark divisions within the Republican Party, which gained control of the House of Representatives in the November mid-term elections. After three failed voting attempts, the deputies decided to adjourn the meeting until Wednesday morning in order to give time for secret talks. Republicans vowed to utilize their legislative authority to start a number of inquiries into President Joe Biden’s administration after gaining control of the House of Representatives. But they must consent to choose a speaker for the House of Representatives before they start this battle on the Democratic president.
The “Speaker of the House of Representatives,” who ranks third in importance in American politics behind the president and his vice president, must receive a majority of 218 votes to be elected. During the three voting rounds, Kevin McCarthy was unable to cross that threshold; as a result, around twenty Trump supporters decided to vote against him. Representative Matt Getz of Florida stated, “Kevin doesn’t believe in anything and he doesn’t have an ideology.” The announcement of McCarthy’s candidacy on Tuesday was greeted with standing ovations among Republican lawmakers, indicating that his candidacy has widespread support within his party.
However, as a result of the Republicans’ dismal showing in the midterm elections, the position of the California representative deteriorated. The House of Representatives can pick a speaker in a matter of hours or weeks. In 1856, for example, it took the House of Representatives two months and 133 voting rounds to choose a speaker. McCarthy seems to have tried to make promises to his opponents in order to prevent them from derailing his plans: in 2015, he nearly missed becoming Speaker of the House due to a right-wing uprising within the party.
He cannot go too far and alienate the centrist Republicans. There is now no real challenger for him, despite the fact that his capacity for maneuver is constrained. Only Ohio’s Rep. Jim Jordan is being traded as a prospective replacement, and he has no realistic chance of winning. Additionally, Biden and his Democratic supporters won’t be able to pass significant new initiatives because the Republicans now hold a majority in the House of Representatives.
But because the Senate is now controlled by the Democrats, their rivals will also be unable to do so. Will the Republicans always be against Biden and his initiatives? is the question that is being asked in the Capitol today. They must first unite in order to respond to this query at a time when a number of their deputies just sided with the Democrats during the budget debate just before Christmas. As a result, the Republicans’ capacity to undermine the president will also be determined by their success in electing a “leader.”
In fact, if Biden confirmed his plans to run for president again in 2024—a choice he must make early this year—having a hostile House of Representatives would be a political boon for him. The president made it clear that he would not “interfere in this process,” and his spokeswoman, Karen Jean-Pierre, echoed that sentiment. Additionally, he will undoubtedly blame the weak Republicans for the filibuster in the event that the legislative process becomes paralyzed in an effort to salvage his position.