MDespite a series of concessions, the elected Republican, Kevin McCarthy failed to convince the hard fringe of his party to vote in his favour. The 118th Congress of the United States is thus paralyzed, unable to rule on any other matter until a president has been chosen.
The battle for the key post of “speaker” illustrates the deep divisions within the Republicans who are nevertheless in the majority in the lower house of Congress at the end of the mid-term elections last November.
“McCarthy has sought to break the impasse by offering major concessions on House rules that would weaken his power and ability to control hardliners in his party, increasing the risk of chaos on issues such as the debt ceiling and public spending”, underlines the Bloomberg agency.
McCarthy’s back-to-back defeats set a record since the Civil War (1861-1865) for the number of ballots needed to elect a president. In 1923, Frederick Gillett, a Republican from Massachusetts, was elected to the post after nine ballots.
The last multi-ballot vote before this was in 1859, when 44 ballots were required. Kevin McCarthy faces a slingshot from some 20 elected members of his clan who rejected his candidacy, preventing him from garnering the 218 votes needed to succeed Democrat Nancy Pelosi in the key post of Speaker of the House .
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