7th failed ballot to elect Speaker in US House
A persistent dissent among Republicans leads to another failed ballot to elect a US House Speaker.
The US House of Representatives' session on Thursday ended with a seventh failed ballot to elect a speaker, amid a persisting dissent by around 20 Republicans to the leadership bid of Congressman Kevin McCarthy.
The House held six inconclusive ballots to elect a speaker on Tuesday and Wednesday.
On Thursday, the House started the session with a seventh ballot, which was also unsuccessful in producing a clear winner.
Congressman Matt Gaetz voted for former US President Donald Trump, as no rules require the speaker to be a member of Congress.
The House is unable to swear in lawmakers and conduct business until a speaker is elected. US President Joe Biden called the House’s failure to elect a leader embarrassing but said that it is not his problem.
Yesterday, US House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar and Vice Chair Ted Lieu warned during a press conference of how serious the lower chamber of Congress' failure to elect a speaker during its first session is.
This comes after the US House of Representatives failed to elect a speaker for the 118th Congress during the first round of voting on Tuesday, after several right-wing rebels blocked Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s leadership bid, sending the process to multiple rounds, something the House had not seen in 100 years.
This plunged House Republicans into crisis on their first day after they succeeded in gaining control of the House.
Hakeem Jeffries earned 212 votes, McCarthy 203 votes, and right-winger Andy Biggs of Arizona 10 votes.
To be elected speaker, McCarthy needed 218 votes, and he could have collected the number based on Republican numbers; however, he failed spectacularly.
In November, Republicans won a slim 222-212 majority in the House during midterm elections.
During the first round of voting, enough Republicans cast votes for alternatives to block McCarthy’s bid.
On Tuesday, McCarthy said his leadership may be opposed by up to 20 colleagues, with the group demanding certain committee assignments and concessions in exchange for their support.
It is worth noting that no other House business can take place if a speaker is not selected: floor votes, committee hearings, and other works will be halted if Republicans cannot agree on a new leader.