As he departed the White House on Wednesday for a bipartisan engagement in Kentucky with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, President Joe Biden referred to the commotion on Capitol Hill over the speakership as “embarrassing.”
After GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who had been widely anticipated to be elected House speaker, was unable to secure a majority after three rounds of voting on Tuesday, Biden told reporters on the South Lawn, “That’s not my issue; I just think it’s a little humiliating that it’s taking so long.”
According to the president, “the rest of the world is watching, they’re looking at, you know, can we get our act together,” and that “this is not a good look, this is not a good thing” for the nation.
Members of the House of Representatives cannot be sworn in and no business may be done without a speaker.
In reference to the House Republicans, who as of Tuesday would hold a tenuous majority in the lower house following the 2022 midterm elections, Biden stated, “I hope they get their act together.”
Biden was traveling to Kentucky to promote the bicameral infrastructure bill. McConnell, the other leading Republican in Congress, will also be present.
Former senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio whose seat was filled by Trump supporter J.D. Vance, who took the oath of office Tuesday, also boarded Air Force One.
Among the 19 Republicans who endorsed the infrastructure legislation, which was passed in August 2021, were McConnell and Portman.
The bridge project Biden will highlight connects Kentucky and Ohio as well.
As he left, Biden stated, “Getting things done is what I am focused on.” “And one of the reasons I’m travelling to Kentucky and Ohio today is to show that we can accomplish things.” We successfully approved a sizable bill with bipartisan support.
Without the best infrastructure in the world, you cannot have the best economy, he said.
When asked if he was concerned about his capacity to rule without a speaker for the House, he added that the drama was ultimately Congress’ problem.
Not me, he answered. Congress is there to rule.
Twenty rebel Republican Party members who lean toward the more pro-MAGA end of the party have derailed McCarthy’s candidature for speaker.
On the third vote, they grouped around Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who has stated he is willing to replace Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler as chair of the House Judiciary Committee.