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Chaos continues in the US Congress

Published on 2023-10-17 17.47

Republican Jim Jordan is awaiting the results of the vote to choose Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Republican Jim Jordan did not receive enough votes in the primary to be elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

A second attempt planned for Wednesday night was cancelled.

And so the chaos continues in the US Congress.

Tuesday night’s vote was tense and slow-paced. Jordan, who is from Ohio, is close to former President Donald Trump and has the support of the right wing of the divided Republican Party.

Strong pressure from his party colleagues made Jordan’s chances on the first ballot not seem impossible. But when the members cast their votes, the necessary votes for Jordan were absent.

All Democrats voted against it, as did 20 Republicans who chose to oppose the proposal.

Groups across Jordan immediately began efforts to persuade Republicans who did not support the candidate. But opposition appeared to be greater than expected, and an attempt to hold another vote during the day on Tuesday was cancelled.

A new vote is therefore expected on Wednesday.

Uncertainty reigns

The vote comes after two weeks of uncertainty since former Speaker Kevin McCarthy was forced out of office in early October. Last week, the caucus nominated Steve Scalise of Louisiana as its nominee for Speaker of the House.

But Scalise withdrew when it became clear that he could not muster enough support from his fellow party members.

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Republicans, who narrowly control the House, are divided. Behind McCarthy’s dismissal was a right-wing faction within the party, which criticized, among other things, the then Speaker of Parliament’s cooperation with the Democrats for not reaching a budget solution.

The same group was skeptical of Scalise. They’re closer to Jordan, but he’s instead making more centrist Republicans hesitate. However, on Monday he got at least four former skeptics to rally behind him, according to CNN.

lies down

To be appointed president, a simple majority is required. Currently, Republicans hold 222 of the 434 seats in the House of Representatives (there is one vacant).

Without a speaker, the room was at a standstill. It is a big problem when certain support for Israel and an aid package for Ukraine – among other things – are planned. Within a few weeks, the House must also approve a new state budget, after the short-term solution of letting costs run their course, which was McCarthy’s downfall.

Currently, the work in the House is being led by Republican Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, who has been appointed speaker pro tempore. As such, McHenry cannot bring any bills to a vote, as his only job is to preside over the vote on a new president.