Republican Kevin McCarthy persuaded a large number of insurgents in the party to support his bid to hold the position of Speaker of the House on Friday, but still failed to win the seat in the vote. 13th historic vote.
Momentum in favor of McCarthy came as the race for the leadership of the lower house of Congress entered the fourth day in a row. It remains unclear whether the California congressman can win over some of the remaining hardliners.
McCarthy has offered several rounds of concessions to his critics, including rule changes that make it easier to call a vote of no confidence in a future Speaker of the House, and promises legitimate committee duties to members of the ultra-conservative Liberal House of Representatives.
Those efforts appear to have shaken more than half of the 20 Republicans who opposed his speakership in previous rounds, including Dan Bishop of North Carolina and Byron Donalds of Florida. The hope for McCarthy and his allies is that an improvement in his numbers will put pressure on the remaining supporters to back his bid.
One dissident who had previously supported McCarthy in the 12th vote, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, tweeted after the vote: “We’re at a turning point. I have negotiated in good faith, with one purpose: to restore the People’s House to its rightful owners. The framework for a deal is in place, so in an effort of good faith I voted to reinstate the House of People by voting for McCarthy.”
But resistance from seven members of his own party remained steadfast and defiant – enough to dash his chances of winning the House of Commons in the first round of voting on Friday.
Bob Good, Virginia Republic was among the dissidents, said before the vote that he would not support McCarthy “at any time”.
“The whole fact that he doesn’t have 218, he won’t have 218, and the sooner he surrenders to that fact, the sooner we can move forward as a conference and start competing. review, test and evaluate. . .[alternative]candidates,” he said.
Good said he wanted Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, as Speaker, but suggested that other members recommend Steve Scalise, Louisiana Republican and member of the Republican leadership. House of Representatives, is a viable candidate. “There are members who support him, I think they should name him, nominate him and vote for him.”
Good said that although McCarthy has made major concessions in recent days, there is still a significant lack of “trust” in his willingness to follow through on them. “He doesn’t believe in any of the things he agrees to do so he will do them only when forced to because he’s so desperate.”
The last time more than one vote was needed to elect a Speaker of the House was in 1923, when there were nine votes. If the deadlock is not broken, the process could continue until the end of the week. According to the constitution, the House is required to choose a Speaker and cannot move on to any legislative work until someone is given the hammer.
The Republican infighting has revealed long-simmering tensions within a party grappling with how to move forward after a relatively disappointing performance in the November election. . midterm elections.
McCarthy finds himself in a difficult position in part because the “red wave” he and others predicted has not materialized, and Republicans now control the House by a slim margin.
The deadlock in the House also raises questions about how Congress will function over the next two years and whether McCarthy or any other Speaker can contest the party’s opposition to pass any legislation. any or not.
One looming threat is the possibility of a debt ceiling crisis later this year. Economists have forecast that the US economy is at risk of default in the third quarter if lawmakers do not agree to raise the government’s borrowing limit.