February 8, 2023

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Even after ten rounds of voting, there is no new Speaker of the House

Even after ten rounds of voting, there is no new Speaker of the House

AP

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There is still no new speaker of the US House of Representatives. On the third day of the election, Republican presidential candidate Kevin McCarthy also failed to win a majority. Votes have been cast for the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth times. McCarthy gets 200 votes in the final round when he needs 218.

The election of a new speaker of the House of Representatives is usually a formality. The last time the president was not directly elected was a hundred years ago, in 1923. The last time a tenth vote was required was in a longer period: in 1859.

Twenty defectors

Republicans have a slim majority in the House of Representatives with 222 of the 435 seats. As a result, twenty opponents of the ultra-conservative wing of the Republican Party are able to block the election of a president. They think McCarthy is not conservative enough and fear that he is too willing to make deals with the Democrats.

Today more than a dozen Republicans also voted for Byron Donalds, a freshman Republican from Florida who is not seen as a serious presidential candidate. One of them voted on the eighth ballot for former President Donald Trump, who previously called on Republicans to support McCarthy.

Politics is silent

212 Democrats voted unanimously for their nominee, Hakeem Jeffries. This is also not enough for the majority and it is almost impossible for the House of Representatives to get another Democratic president.

As long as a new Speaker of the House is not elected, politics will cease to function. Decisions such as increasing the debt ceiling or new aid to Ukraine cannot be taken.