by Andy Sullivan and Moira Warburton
White House (Reuters) –
On Thursday, Republicans in the US House of Representatives will make a third attempt to choose a leader after six failed votes exposed internal conflicts and cast doubt on their capacity to rule.
Kevin McCarthy, the leading Republican in the chamber, has been unable to win the support necessary to become the powerful House speaker because a group of hard-line conservatives have refused to do so in spite of pressure from prominent supporters like former President Donald Trump.
McCarthy, a Californian, successfully spearheaded his party’s campaign to take back control of the House in the midterm elections held in November 2022.
However, his adversaries see him as a dealmaker who could lack the guts to pursue a battle with President Joe Biden’s Democrats over government spending, which is their key leverage point before the 2024 presidential race.
“Will he stand up for us? Is he prepared to shut down the government?” At least 19 Republicans, including Representative Ralph Norman, had abstained from all of his votes, he told Reuters on Tuesday. His past has not been like that.
McCarthy’s supporters, who outnumber opponents 10 to 1, have grown more upset by their party’s inability to choose a leader, a vote that usually takes place at the start of each two-year legislative session.
Individual legislators have been unable to take their oaths of office or pursue agendas like looking into the Democratic president’s administration because of the delay.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a McCarty supporter and one of the most aggressive members of Congress, stated, “I’m receiving a lot of mail from conservatives who are fired up with this.
After the GOP narrowly won a 222-212 majority in the November elections, the leadership battle has given the new Republican majority in the House a disconcerting start.
The last time the House didn’t choose a speaker on the first ballot was in 1923, when the vote was decided after nine rounds.
On Thursday at noon (1700 GMT), The House is expected back.
McCarthy claimed to be making headway late on Wednesday, but it remained unclear if he would persuade the holdouts or if the party would need to look for a replacement.
Representative Jim Jordan, who earned 20 votes when nominated on Tuesday, and Steve Scalise, the second-ranking House Republican, are also potential candidates. Both have acknowledged supporting McCarthy.
Democrats might be a source of assistance for Republicans.
According to Democratic Representative Ro Khanna, he and other supporters might back a moderate Republican who consents to share subpoena authority with Democrats and refrain from using the debt ceiling and government financing as leverage.
However, Hakeem Jeffries, the leader of the House Democrats, told reporters that Republicans had not contacted them to explore that alternative.
McCarthy’s backers declared that they would stand with him.
“You have 20 individuals demanding that 201 unconditionally submit to them. I’m not going to give up, but “Trent Kelly, a Republican representative, stated during a news conference on Wednesday night.
The three unsuccessful votes on Wednesday, which came after the three failed votes on Tuesday, were also a rebuke to Trump, who had pushed Republicans to band together behind McCarthy.
Trump, the sole declared contender for president in 2024, is still a significant figure among Republicans. The inability of Republicans to gain more seats in Congress during the midterm elections has been attributed by some in the party to Trump.
Republicans claimed that a quick resolution to the deadlock was unlikely. “It may last till the weekend. Although we hope not, it may “Rep. Scott Perry, a McCarthy foe, said this.