Connect with us

News

Kevin McCarthy Scores Big For US House Speakership, But Still Falls Short

Published

on

Kevin McCarthy Scores Big For US House Speakership, But Still Falls Short

(CTN NEWS) – WASHINGTON – In a dramatic vote for House speaker on Friday, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy converted 15 opponents to supporters.

Making extraordinary gains on the fourth day and the 12th and 13th ballots in a historic impasse that has put American democracy and the GOP majority’s capacity to rule to the test.

McCarthy came closer to taking the gavel for the new Congress thanks to the switched votes from conservative holdouts, including the leader of the chamber’s Freedom Caucus.

But he wasn’t yet able to do so. Republicans decided to break the session up into two 10-hour sessions.

Kevin McCarthy told reporters, “I think at that point we’ll have the votes to finish this once and for all.”

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., stands as he is nominated for a twelfth time in the House chamber as the House meets for the fourth day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

After conceding to many of his critics’ requests, including the restoration of a long-standing House rule allowing any individual member to convene a vote to remove him from office, McCarthy underwent a startling turnabout.

Kevin McCarthy will emerge as a weakened speaker after ceding some authority and continuously being threatened with removal by his critics, even if he is able to collect the votes he requires.

However, as a survivor of one of the bloodiest battles for the gavel in American history, he might also feel more confident. The number of voting rounds for a speaker’s vote has not been this high since the Civil War era.

The standoff that has paralyzed the new Congress occurred on January 6, 2021.

The second anniversary of the attack on the Capitol shook the nation when a mob of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters attempted to prevent Congress from certifying the Republican’s loss to Democrats Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

Rep. James Comer Jr., R-Ky., shakes hands with Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as he nominates him for speaker ahead of the 13th round of voting in the House chamber as the House meets for the fourth day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A few politicians, largely Democrats, spent a minute of grief and thanked the law enforcement personnel who assisted in protecting Congress that day at a Capitol event on Friday.

Additionally, Biden awarded medals to police officers and others who repelled the terrorists at the White House.

“America is a country of laws, not anarchy,” he declared.

During the speaker’s vote in the afternoon, some Republicans who had grown weary of the show briefly left the room when one of McCarthy’s fiercest rivals criticized the GOP leader.

Republican Matt Gaetz of Florida stated, “We do not trust Mr. McCarthy with authority,” as colleagues left the room in protest of his comments.

After three miserable days and 11 unsuccessful votes in an intraparty standoff unheard of in modern times, an agreement with conservative holdouts impeding Kevin McCarthy’s ascent emerged.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., reacts during the 12th round of voting for speaker in the House chamber as the House meets for the fourth day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

We’re going to make progress, McCarthy said to reporters as he arrived at the Capitol. We’re about to surprise you.

We’re at a tipping point, Republican Scott Perry, head of the conservative Freedom Caucus and a key figure in Trump’s efforts to contest the 2020 election, tweeted after switching his vote to McCarthy.

A second Republican holdout, Florida’s Byron Donalds, who had regularly been suggested as a substitute speaker candidate, also changed his vote on Friday and supported Kevin McCarthy.

Trump might have had some influence on the holdouts. Donalds claimed to have spoken with the former president, who the day before had urged Republicans to put an end to their heated public debate.

McCarthy received the most votes on the 12th ballot for the first time, 213. McCarthy quickly launched a 13th, this time with the Democratic leader just behind him, and gained another detractor, bringing his total to 214.

McCarthy still fell short of a majority despite the spectacular return of Democrat David Trone, who had been absent due to surgery, with 432 members voting at this point. Six Republicans voted in favor of a fellow Republican.

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, votes for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., during the twelfth round of voting in the House chamber as the House meets for the fourth day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Kevin McCarthy’s supporters expected the presence of two absent colleagues to help him win the majority in the late-night voting.

Rep. Mike Garcia nominated McCarthy on Friday and honored the U.S. Capitol Police, who received a standing ovation for defending legislators and the democratically-elected congressional chamber on Jan. 6.

However, Democratic Jim Clyburn recalled the horror of that day and reminded his colleagues that “the eyes of the country are on us today” as he nominated Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries.

Without a speaker, the house cannot swear in new members or kick off the 2023–24 legislative session, a sign of the challenges the new Republican majority would face in trying to rule.

Choosing a speaker for a party that has just won majority control is typically a simple and enjoyable affair.

But not this time: Twenty far-right colleagues who claimed he wasn’t conservative enough stymied over 200 Republicans.

Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, from left, Rep. Dan Bishop, D-N.C., Rep. Andy Ogles, R-Tenn., Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, and Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., meet with reporters in Statuary Hall to talk about their opposition to voting for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to be speaker of the House, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

With Republicans now in charge of the House, issues are likely to arise. This is similar to how some previous Republican speakers, such as John Boehner, struggled to tame a dissident right flank.

As a result, conservatives vowed to remove Boehner from office, which led to government shutdowns, standoffs, and his early retirement.

The Freedom Caucus holdouts and others were provided with a deal by Kevin McCarthy that focused on the rule changes they have been requesting for months.

By making those adjustments, the speaker’s office would have less authority, and lower-ranking legislators would have more say in the creation and passage of legislation.

Rep. John James, R-Mich., nominates Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., for a speaker for the seventh round of voting in the House chamber as the House meets for the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The reintroduction of a House rule that would permit a single legislator to introduce a resolution to “vacate the chair,” effectively calling a vote to remove the speaker, is the cornerstone of the emerging agreement.

Because it had been enforced over the head of former Republican Speaker Boehner, McCarthy had fought to allow the reinstatement to the long-standing regulation that former Speaker Nancy Pelosi had abolished.

Kevin McCarthy seemed to have had no other alternative, though.

Other victories for the holdouts are less obvious and include provisions in the proposed agreement to increase the number of seats available on the House Rules Committee to require that bills be posted 72 hours before votes`.

Photographers are seen behind the sculpture of Clio as they wait for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to exit the House chamber as the House meets for the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

And to promise to attempt to amend the Constitution to impose federal limits on the number of terms a person could serve in the House and Senate.

First time since 1923 that a nominee had not received the gavel on the first vote, what began as a political novelty has turned into a sour Republican Party quarrel and a growing potential crisis.

The Democratic leader Jeffries of New York, had received the most votes before Friday’s votes but fell short of a majority. McCarthy finished second and made little progress.

Every day increases pressure on Kevin McCarthy to find the votes he needs or resign.

The new Republican leaders of the House’s foreign affairs, armed services, and intelligence committees all claimed that national security was in jeopardy, and staff members ran the possibility of not getting paid.

During debates about slavery in the lead-up to the Civil War, which lasted for two months and involved 133 ballots, the longest battle for the gavel began in late 1855.

RELATED CTN NEWS:

New York Court Convicts Italian Man Of Stealing Unpublished Books

U.S. Approves Alzheimer’s Drug That Slows The Disease Significantly

Mexican Officials Arrest Son Of Infamous Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’

Continue Reading