Lisa Mascaro, Farnoush Amiri (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is testing American democracy and the Republican majority by tipping 15 colleagues to endorse him in a dramatic vote for House Speaker on Friday. The fourth and 12th and 13th ballots in a historic confrontation turned in staggering profits. ability to govern.
A turnover from conservative supporters, including the chairman of the House Liberty Committee, has brought McCarthy closer to grabbing the new Congressional gavel, but has yet to do so. voted to try again.
“At that point, I believe we will get a vote to end this once and for all,” McCarthy said at a news conference.
After Mr. McCarthy agreed to many of his detractors’ demands, a surprising turnaround occurred. This includes the reinstatement of a long-standing House rule allowing one member to call a vote to remove him from office.
Even if McCarthy manages to secure the votes he needs, he will emerge as a weakened voice, relinquishing some authority and always under threat of being kicked out by detractors.
But he could also be emboldened as a survivor of the most brutal battle for the gavel in U.S. history. I have never been
The showdown that thwarted the new parliament took place against the backdrop of the second anniversary of the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. He lost to Democrat Joe Biden in his 2020 election as a Republican.
At a Capitol event on Friday, some lawmakers, mostly Democrats, held a moment of silence and praised the officers who helped defend Congress that day. and gave away medals to other people.
“America is a land of laws, not chaos,” he said.
When one of McCarthy’s most ardent challengers lashed out at Republican leaders in the afternoon’s presidential vote, many Republicans, tired of the spectacle, briefly walked out.
“We don’t trust Mr. McCarthy’s power,” said Republican Matt Gates of Florida, as colleagues stormed out of the floor protesting his remarks.
The contours of the deal with conservatives that have thwarted McCarthy’s rise came after three dismal days and an 11-vote failure in a modern-day intraparty rivalry.
A bright McCarthy told reporters when he arrived at the Capitol. we are going to shock you. ”
Republican Scott Perry, chairman of the Conservative Freedom Caucus, who was the leader of Trump’s effort to challenge the 2020 election, tweeted after voting for McCarthy: “We are at a tipping point. I’m in.
Another Republican supporter, Byron Donalds (of Florida), who was repeatedly nominated as an alternate candidate for chairman, also switched by voting for McCarthy on Friday.
In the 12th ballot, McCarthy received the most votes for the first time with 213 votes. His 13th ballot was swiftly launched, this time between McCarthy and the Democratic leader, and he already won his one detractor, receiving 214 votes.
With 432 members currently voting, McCarthy still fell short of the majority, including the dramatic return of Democrat David Trone, who was out for surgery. Voted for a colleague. McCarthy’s allies hoped that two of his absent colleagues would return and a night ballot would bring McCarthy closer to a majority.
When Rep. Mike Garcia nominated McCarthy on Friday, he also thanked the U.S. Capitol Police, who were given a standing ovation on Jan. 6 for protecting lawmakers and democratic legislative seats.
But in nominating Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat Jim Cliburn recalled the horrors of the day and told colleagues:
Without a speaker, the House of Commons will not be able to sworn in its members and begin its 2023-24 session.
For a party that has just gained majority control, electing a chairman is usually an easy and enjoyable task. But not this time. About 200 Republicans have been blocked by 20 far-right colleagues.
Just as some Republican speakers in the past, including John Boehner, have struggled to lead the rebellious right wing, the new congress’s turbulent start has preceded the Republicans now dominating the House. The result was a government shutdown, a stalemate, and Boehner’s early retirement when conservatives threatened to expel him.
The agreement McCarthy has presented to the holdouts from the Freedom Caucus and others centers around a rule change they have been asking for for months. These changes would reduce the powers of the Speaker of the House and give laymen the power to influence the drafting and passage of bills.
At the heart of the new deal is the restoration of House rules, which allow one member to issue a motion to “vacate the chairman”, essentially taking a vote to remove the chairman. You will be able to McCarthy had resisted allowing a return to the long-standing rule that former chairman Nancy Pelosi had abolished.
The Holdout’s other wins are more ambiguous, with proposed deals including clauses to expand the number of seats available on the House Rules Committee, a clause that imposes a 72-hour obligation to put the bill on the table before voting. , and contains a clause promising to attempt to amend the Constitution. Imposes federal limits on the number of terms a person may serve in the House and Senate.
For the first time since 1923, what began as a political novelty in which no candidate won the gavel on the first ballot devolved into a bitter Republican feud and a deepening potential crisis.
Before Friday’s vote, Democratic leader Jeffries of New York had the most votes on all ballots, but fell short of a majority. could not be raised.
With each passing day, the pressure mounts for McCarthy to somehow win or decline the votes he needs. Congress has been unable to function fully, and incoming Republican chairmen of the House Foreign Affairs, Military, and Intelligence Committees have all said national security is at risk and workers are at risk of not getting paid. rice field.
The longest battle for the gavel began in late 1855, dragging out 133 votes for two months in the debate over slavery leading up to the Civil War.
AP writers Mary Clare Jalonick and Kevin Freking contributed to this report.
https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/01/06/mccarthy-makes-big-gains-for-speaker-but-hes-still-short/ Kevin McCarthy proposes deal to end stalemate in House Speaker battle