Almost a third day has passed and the US Congress remains undecided on a Speaker of the House, doing Republican Kevin McCarthy now defeated in the seventh round for even more worrying votes.
Republicans can’t agree on the votes needed to elect McCarthy or any other candidate. Democrats, on the other hand, unanimously voted for New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. As Vox’s Ben Jacobs shares, they are there four ways to resolve the current stalemate: McCarthy makes a concession or concedes, the stalemate continues, or Republicans and Democrats decide on a “unity candidate” — the latter of which seems far from likely.
This is the first time in 100 years that Congress has requested it more than one vote to elect a speaker. With McCarthy now losing his seventh ballot, more substantive problems may linger.
“The chaos of the speakers could well portend a catastrophic collapse of US governance over the debt ceiling and financing problems this year – or at least a very tense situation until a deal can be struck,” writes Andrew Prokop of Vox.
Thursday night, McCarthy offered concessions that look promising, but it’s not clear whether the Republicans who held their votes are really considering alternatives.
In a bid to gain influence over legislation and weaken the speaker’s office, a small group of far-right GOP House members are straining their party’s ability to complete its first task as the new GOP-led House .