#1 Trump Vocally Endorses Kevin McCarthy in Controversial Race for House Speaker

House adjourns without selecting speaker for first time since 1923

On Tuesday night, the House adjourned without selecting a speaker for the first time since 1923, marking a major setback for the Republican Party, which had expected to take control of the lower chamber following November’s elections.

Kevin McCarthy loses three consecutive votes for Speaker

Despite being the frontrunner for the position, California Congressman Kevin McCarthy has lost three consecutive votes for Speaker and it is unclear how he will secure a majority when the House reconvenes on Wednesday.

Internal strife within Republican Party may hinder House’s functions

The ongoing turmoil within the party may also lead to a tumultuous two years, with moderate and right-wing Republicans at odds with each other. This internal strife may hinder the House’s ability to fulfill its core functions, such as passing spending bills or raising the debt ceiling.

McCarthy’s negotiations viewed as sign of weakness

In the November elections, Republicans narrowly secured control of the House, leaving California Congressman Kevin McCarthy with little room for error in his bid to become Speaker. However, a group of hardline conservatives opposed Kevin McCarthy’s nomination, leading to negotiations between McCarthy and his detractors. These negotiations, which included concessions such as a change to House rules to make it easier to remove a sitting Speaker, were viewed as a sign of weakness and further damaged McCarthy’s reputation among some members of the party.

Alternative candidates for Speaker remain unclear

Despite this, it is currently unclear who may emerge as an alternative candidate for the position. “The fact he was negotiating with the Republicans at all made him look very, very weak to the point of being desperate,” said a Republican lobbyist, who requested anonymity. “Kevin McCarthy has not made friends with certain segments of the caucus for a while, he’s made a lot of enemies,” the lobbyist added, noting that some members of the party dislike Kevin McCarthy for political or personal reasons.

On Tuesday, it became clear that California Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s efforts to secure the required 218 votes to become Speaker of the House were futile. Despite Republicans holding 222 seats in the House, a group of 19 hard-right Republicans opposed McCarthy on both ideological and personal grounds and vowed to “never back down,” according to Virginia Representative Bob Good. The opposition group also saw an opportunity to exploit the Republican Party’s narrow majority by forcing further concessions from McCarthy.

Infighting continues after vote

Matt Gaetz, a Republican Representative, is among those opposing McCarthy’s nomination for House Speaker, Image source : BBC

The infighting continued even after the vote, with one rebel, Matt Gaetz, responding on Twitter to a Republican colleague who referred to the opposition group as the “Taliban 20.” Gaetz stated that he was prepared for an “extended battle that I will ultimately win.”

Jordan nominates himself as challenger to McCarthy

During the vote for Speaker of the House, Representative Jim Jordan, a leading figure in the hard-right Freedom Caucus, nominated himself as a challenger to California Congressman Kevin McCarthy, despite also nominating McCarthy for the position. Despite Jordan’s call for Republicans to “rally around” McCarthy in the third round of voting, 20 Republicans voted for Jordan, preventing McCarthy from achieving victory.

Democrats united behind leader Hakeem Jeffries

While Democrats remained unified behind their party’s new leader, Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, some couldn’t resist poking fun at the Republican Party’s struggles. Arizona Representative Ruben Gallego tweeted that Democrats were “breaking the popcorn out” and included a photo of the snack as evidence.

Political analysts offer various theories for resolution to impasse

Political analysts in Washington have proposed various theories about the potential resolution to the ongoing impasse over the selection of a Speaker for the House. Some predictions suggest that McCarthy may emerge as the winner, but significantly weakened, while others speculate that he may choose to back his second in command, Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana. One theory, which borders on the fantastical, posits that five Republicans may vote for Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, a Democrat, giving him control of the House.

McCarthy may attempt to win over obstinate lawmakers with concessions

According to Ruth Bloch Rubin, a political scientist at the University of Chicago who studies partisanship, McCarthy is currently “essentially hostage to one side of his party.” In an effort to gain the support of obstinate lawmakers, McCarthy may attempt to win them over with committee assignments or leadership roles.

Members of House to reconvene for fourth vote on Wednesday.

Members of the House will reconvene for a fourth vote on Wednesday, though it remains uncertain if the stalemate will be broken. Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert stated that “we haven’t heard anything new from McCarthy,” indicating that the opposition may continue to block his nomination.

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