By Jordan Young
Chief Editor of News
The United States House of Representatives began a process on Monday unseen in over 100 years. For the first time since 1923, a Speaker of the House failed to be elected on the first ballot, meaning Congressman-elect Greg Casar (D-TX35) cannot be sworn in yet.
The last time a party’s nominee failed to be elected, Warner Bros. film studio did not exist. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy of California now joins fellow Republican Frederick H. Gillett of Massachusetts in failing to get their conferences to vote for them.
At the beginning of each new term of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans nominate a candidate for speaker. The tradition in Washington D.C. has been for every member to vote for their party’s nominee. A candidate for speaker must get a majority of House members, 218, to be elected.
The Republicans won a slim house majority in the November midterm elections, winning 222 seats to democrats 213. Without support from across the aisle, McCarthy can only afford to lose four Republican votes. As of Thursday evening 20, House Republicans have voted against McCarthy’s speakership bid eight straight times.
Representative Chip Roy (R-TX21) is among the group of hard conservatives who don’t support McCarthy. Roy’s lack of support for McCarthy stems from wanting changes to the House rules to create more debate on the House floor for legislation. The Texas Republican says bills are decided behind closed doors. “We’ve got an institutional kind of corruption in this town where the powers that be decide bills behind closed doors. They jam it through like they just did the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill.”
Roy and the other 19 republicans opposed to McCarthy are causing the 118th congressional freshman class to not be sworn in. One of the freshman members affected is Congressman-elect Greg Casar(D-TX35) whose district includes Texas State University and San Marcos, Texas. In a statement to the press, Casar said, “The Republican dysfunction and extremism speaks for itself, I am focused, instead, on serving our constituents and supporting working Texan.”
According to the constitution, the U.S. House of Representatives cannot be sworn in, receive intelligence briefings or introduce legislation until a speaker is elected.
In 1865 it took 133 rounds of voting over two months to elect a speaker. So far in the 2023 speakership election, there have been 11 rounds of voting over four days; the House will reconvene Friday at noon to continue the speakership election.
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