Democrats warn of effects of not electing Speaker amid GOP division
US House Democratic Caucus Chair and Vice Chair warn of the seriousness of the failure to elect a Speaker amid division among Republicans.
Amid the ongoing division among the Republicans, 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.
"Multiple ballots and almost 24 hours later, there is still no clear sign of a speaker. Let’s hope that this isn’t a re-run of 1855 and 1856, when it took 133 ballots," Aguilar said.
The US House of Representatives will hold a fourth round of voting to elect a speaker, despite rising Republican disparity to Congressman Kevin McCarthy's bid for the office.
This comes shortly 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 Republicans went against their colleagues and blocked Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s leadership bid, sending the process to multiple rounds, something the House has not seen in 100 years.
The United States effectively does not have a House of Representatives at the moment, Lieu said.
It is worth noting that no other House business can take place in this case: floor votes, committee hearings, and other works will be halted if Republicans cannot agree on a new leader.
Members are still considered Representatives-elect since they have not been sworn into office. If this were to happen during a Congress following a presidential election, lawmakers would not be able to certify results, Lieu noted.
The Republicans' next step is unclear, as neither McCarthy's allies nor his hard-right enemies are backing down. The House rules call for lawmakers to keep holding votes for speaker until a candidate secures 218 votes or a simple majority of members voting.