WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives is still deadlocked on electing a new Speaker of the House.
The second day of voting for a new Speaker of the House was off to another shaky start after California’s Kevin McCarthy (R- CA) lost three votes in a row on the first day of the new Congress. A handful of members in his own party continued to block his bid by voting for other republicans. Throughout the voting process, democrats have been united behind New York’s Hakeem Jeffries (D- NY).
“The contrast between House democrats and the chaos and confusion taking place on the other side of the aisle could not be more clear,” said Rep. Pete Aguilar (D- CA).
It’s not the first time a new Speaker of the House wasn’t elected on the first round of voting but it’s been 100 years since the last time it’s happened.
“I was really surprised that McCarthy was really unsuccessful in his bid to get the hard right people who voted him on board,” said Belt. “He had a lot of time to do this and it came down to a last-ditch effort where he was done with the carrots in terms of giving incentives and was turning into this stick which trying to punish them and saying that they were not going to get committee assignments if they didn’t play nicely with them and elect him to Speaker.”
Political scientists said the optics of this doesn’t look good for republicans.
“This is what people are seeing and getting their first impression of what a republican House of Representatives is going to be like and it doesn’t look good,” said Belt.
Michigan’s upper peninsula’s Representative Jack Bergman (R- MI) doesn’t see it like that.
“Yesterday wasn’t chaos,” said Bergman. “Yesterday was an example of what the founders envisioned as far as the messiness of democracy in progress with people who have different ideas about how things should be structured and we haven’t come to a conclusion yet but we will.”