Without a new House speaker, the first day of the 118th Congress came to a conclusion on Tuesday.
On three of Tuesday’s ballots, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy fell short of receiving enough votes to become speaker of the House, adding to the commotion around the newly elected GOP majority. The House was unable to choose a speaker on the first vote for the first time in a century.
On Wednesday, voting is anticipated to resume.
In the event of the vice president’s incapacitation, the speaker would take the president’s place as a strong position. The speaker’s influence over the agenda and committee assignments, which determine legislation in the lower house of Congress, is, nevertheless, her most significant power.
McCarthy became the front-runner for the speakership when Republicans won the majority in the midterm elections in November after GOP legislators chose to maintain him in that role last month. However, a section of the party refused to lend him the backing he would have needed to win the post.
Rep. Andy Biggs, a Republican from Arizona, ran against McCarthy for the influential leadership position and received 10 votes on the first vote. In favour of “others,” nine additional MPs voted. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the head of the House Democrats, received the support of all 212 elected Democrats.
McCarthy’s supporters, who outnumber the “never Kevin” group, have declared they won’t budge from their position of support for “only Kevin.”
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More: Kevin McCarthy’s bid to become House speaker might destabilize the chamber.
The sole elected office in the House is the speaker, who is chosen by a vote of every member. Here are the election’s rules and what can occur if McCarthy falls short of the required number of votes to become a speaker.