New York

Second round begins as Kevin McCarthy loses first vote for new Speaker of the House

Washington DC – Republican leader Kevin McCarthy suffered a historic loss in the first-round ballot to become House Speaker on Tuesday, sending the new Congress into turmoil as conservative colleagues opposed his leadership. .

Debate over a second ballot was rapidly underway.

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who won six votes on the first ballot, stood up to agree that McCarthy should get the post. supported. Highlight the confusion within the party.

McCarthy promised to “fight the floor” for as long as necessary to defeat his right-wing Republican allies who had refused to vote for him. It wasn’t quite clear how the beleaguered Republican leader would bounce back after failing to win the gavel from his fellow party members at the .

McCarthy walked onto the floor, posed for pictures, and received a standing ovation from many on his side of the aisle, nominated by Rep. Elise Stefanik, the third-ranked Republican congressman. After being sacked, he said, “Lead the Republican Party in the House.

“No one worked harder for this majority than Kevin McCarthy,” said Stefanik, RN.Y.

But Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs, the former leader of the Freedom Caucus Conservatives and nominated as chairman by fellow conservatives, was quick to object. In all, he had 19 Republicans vote against, denying McCarthy the majority he needed, and voting for Biggs and other protesters.

The mood was tense, at least on the Republican side, as lawmakers rose from their seats in the first round of lengthy in-person polls. Democrats were delighted to cast historic votes for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the first black man to head a major American political party.

“We may fight on the floor, but it’s for the Congress and for the country,” McCarthy said on the Capitol.

In the final tally, McCarthy received 203 votes, Biggs with 10 and other Republicans with 9. Democratic leader Jeffries actually got the most votes with 212 votes. However, no candidate won a majority.

McCarthy slipped out of a controversial closed-door meeting with fellow House Republicans, failed to convince detractors, and lacked the support he needed to become president. He has vowed to fight to the end – even if it will require repeated public challenges that will underscore his party’s divisions and undermine its leadership in the first days of the new parliament. .

A core group of conservatives, led by the Freedom Caucus and aligned with Donald Trump’s MAGA agenda, was outraged, calling the closed-door meeting “beaten” by McCarthy supporters and staunchly opposing Republican leaders .

“There is one person who could have changed all this,” said Rep. Scott Perry, Republican, chairman of the Freedom Caucus and leader of Trump’s effort to challenge the 2020 presidential election. rice field.

McCarthy rejected the group’s last-minute proposal for a rule change at a meeting at the Capitol late Monday, according to the group.

“If you want the swamp to be drained, you can’t let the biggest alligators rule the movement,” R-Fla Rep. Matt Gaetz said.

“He fired us with zeal,” said R-Colo Rep. Lauren Boebert.

After losing the midterm elections, lawmakers were called to a new era of divided government as Democrats relinquished control of the House. Although the Senate is controlled by Democrats, barely House Republicans are eager to tackle President Joe Biden’s agenda after two years of Democrats dominating both houses.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi closed the final session moments by moving aside for new Democratic leadership to a standing ovation from colleagues on her side of the aisle.

The pastor opened with a prayer to energize the 118th Congress.

But first, House Republicans had to elect the next speaker after the president.

Even with the endorsement of former President Trump, McCarthy was not enough.

The Democrats enthusiastically nominated Jeffreys of the New York State Democratic Party to be the speaker. It’s a quintessentially symbolic gesture for minorities, but it’s taken on new significance as the Republican Party is in turmoil.

California Rep. Pete Aguilar, the third-ranked Democrat, said in nominating a colleague:

The morning meeting of House Republicans made a ruckus before what is traditionally a day of celebration as newly elected representatives arrive for the oath of office. Accompanied by families, new members of Congress prepare to take the oath of office in the House and Senate for the start of the two-year legislative session.

A new generation of Trump-aligned Republicans led the opposition to McCarthy. They don’t think McCarthy is conservative or tough enough to fight the Democrats. It’s reminiscent of the last time Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives after the 2010 midterm elections.The Tea Party class ushered in a new era of hardball politics that ultimately forced House Speaker John Boehner into early retirement. I was allowed to.

“Nothing has changed,” said R-Va Rep. Bob Good. ‘The problem is Kevin McCarthy’

Normally, it takes a majority of the 435 members of the House of Representatives, or 218 votes, to become Speaker. With only 222 of his GOP seats, McCarthy could afford to lose a handful of votes. If some lawmakers are absent or simply attend and vote, as Pelosi and Boehner did, a congressman can win with less than his 218 votes.

But despite promises of weeks of closed-door meetings and changes to House rules, McCarthy has remained a core group of right-wing Republicans, led by the conservative Liberal caucuses, and potentially a growing party. Nearly a dozen Republicans have publicly voiced their concerns about McCarthy.

Some die-hard Republican conservatives challenged McCarthy in closed-door sessions. He objected and allowed anonymity to discuss closed-door sessions, according to Republicans in the room.

A sizable but less vocal group of McCarthy supporters launched their own campaign, “Only Kevin,” as a way to shut out the opposition and pledge their support to him alone.

Rep. Dusty Johnson (RS.D.), leader of a more pragmatic conservative group, said there was “increased frustration” with minorities.

“Kevin McCarthy is the right person to lead this meeting and the right person to be Speaker of the House,” Johnson said.

A viable challenger to McCarthy had not yet emerged. Biggs, Arizona ran as a conservative choice, but was not expected to win a majority. McCarthy beat him 188-31 in his November nomination fight.

Second-ranked House Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana is clearly the next candidate. The conservative is widely liked by his colleagues and is considered a hero by some after surviving a gunshot wound sustained during a Congressional baseball practice in 2017.

Former rivals McCarthy and Scalise became a team. Scalise’s office on Monday dismissed a suggestion by another Republican that Scalise was calling about the president’s campaign as “false.”

The last time a contest of speakers was held multiple times was in 1923.

“This is much more important than one person,” said Doug Hay, a former senior aide to Republican leadership.

Without speakers, the House would not be fully formed, appointing committee chairs, engaging in parliamentary proceedings, and launching investigations into the Biden administration.

On the other side of the Capitol, it was a stark contrast to Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell officially becoming the longest-serving party leader in House history.

Despite being a minority in the Senate, where Democrats hold a 51-49 majority, McConnell is proving to be a viable partner as Biden seeks a bipartisan victory in a new era of divided government. The two men traveled to Kentucky, the Republican leader’s home state, later in the week to celebrate a federal infrastructure investment in a key bridge connecting Kentucky and Ohio. It was expected that they would appear together.

McCarthy’s run for chairman would have been almost certain. He led his party to a majority, raised millions of dollars in campaign funds, and traveled the country to get many new legislators to run for office.

But McCarthy has been here before, and abruptly dropped out of the presidential race in 2015 when it became clear that he had no support from conservatives to replace Boehner.

One of the main demands from this holdout is for McCarthy to reinstate the rule allowing one member to “move to vacate the chair.”

Pelosi removed the rule after conservatives used it to threaten Boehner’s dismissal, but McCarthy agreed to add it back, albeit at a higher threshold and requiring at least five lawmakers had to sign the motion.

Copyright © 2023 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Second round begins as Kevin McCarthy loses first vote for new Speaker of the House

Back to top button