What happens if Republicans fail to elect Kevin McCarthy as speaker? Here’s what the constitution says

What happens if Republicans fail to elect Kevin McCarthy as speaker? Here’s what the constitution says

For the first time in a century, the House of Representatives was unable to elect a new speaker when Republican Kevin McCarthy failed to win a majority at the end of six straight votes this week.
After the Republicans seized control of the lower house in the midterm elections in November, Mr. McCarthy needs to receive a simple majority of votes from members to be elected speaker.

The House was adjourned on Wednesday night amidst commotion as the former minority leader’s far-right Donald Trump-supporting GOP rivals showed no indication of giving up on their campaign to defeat him.

Following six fruitless votes over the previous two days, Mr. McCarthy told reporters at the Capitol, “I don’t think voting tonight is useful.” Let folks put in a bit more effort.

Later on Thursday, the House will pick up its efforts and is anticipated to continue holding voting for as many rounds as necessary until a candidate receives the needed number of votes.
So what does the US Constitution say if Mr. McCarthy is denied one of the key roles in US politics after vice president Kamala Harris and president Joe Biden?

Sadly, there isn’t much information in the US Constitution that can help individuals who are seeking for answers.

Professor of political science at the Catholic University of America Matthew Green claims that the constitution states very little about how the speaker of the House is chosen.

Article One only states that “The House shall pick their speaker.” That’s it, he said, according to The Washington Post.

Even while the Constitution might not have the solutions, the current predicament the House is in has historical precedent. According to the House of Representatives website, there have been a total of 14 occasions where the House has required several ballots to elect a speaker, dating all the way back to the third Congress in 1793.

The last time Congress failed to choose a speaker on the first try was in 1923, when Frederick H. Gillett of Massachusetts had to be chosen after nine rounds.

The House had to go through a record-breaking 133 voting rounds to choose a speaker in 1855.

The speaker’s job is one of the few that at least makes an appearance in the Constitution, despite the fact that there is incredibly little elaboration. A roll-call vote with the participation of the full House is used to choose the speaker.

The position has enormous historical significance in addition to its practical importance to the operation of American democracy. Professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley, Eric Schickler asserts that the election of the speaker was a factor in the formation of the early parties.

According to him, “in the second and third Congresses, more Jeffersonians were elected, but the Federalists were [more] organised” and were successful in picking their preferred speaker.

That sparked the custom of parties meeting and attempting to agree on a single candidate at the outset.

In order to start the assembly’s regular work, House Republicans were unable to pick a speaker. According to President Biden, this dysfunction is bad for the nation.

Speaking shortly outside the White House residence before boarding Marine One to travel to Kentucky for an engagement, Mr. Biden described the lower chamber spectacle as “embarrassing”.

It’s almost humiliating how long it’s taking and how they are acting toward one another, he added.

He stated that it was “not a good look” and “not a good thing” for the US that the House had not chosen a speaker on the first day of the 118th Congress.