For the first time in 164 years, the US House adjourns without a Speaker

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Kevin McCarthy from California, who has been the leader of the House Republicans since 2019, didn’t get enough votes in five more rounds of voting to become speaker.

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Even after 11 votes, the US House of Representatives has gone home for the third day in a row without choosing a new Speaker. This is the longest time it has taken to choose a new Speaker in 164 years. Xinhua news agency says that the House will not meet on Friday at noon, which is the second anniversary of the 2021 Capitol riot.

Kevin McCarthy of California, who has been the leader of the House Republicans since January 2019, didn’t get enough votes in five more rounds of voting on Thursday afternoon.

Since the 118th Congress began on Tuesday, the House has voted 11 times. This is the longest race for speaker in 164 years.

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Not since 1860, when the US’ union was fraying over the issue of slavery, has the lower chamber of Congress voted so many times to pick a Speaker. Back then it took 44 rounds of ballots.

A group of 20 hard-line Republican lawmakers are refusing to give the California Congressman the necessary 218 votes.

The 435-seat lower chamber, where Republicans have a slim majority over Democrats, is unable to conduct any legislative business until a speaker is elected.

McCarthy has the support of most House Republicans and former President Donald Trump but the 20 hardliners have pressured him to decentralise the Speaker’s power.

All House Democrats have voted for Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat, to be Speaker in the election.

Also Read – China’s reclamation, militarization in South China Sea undermine peace and security of region: US

Though it’s unlikely for Jeffries to attain the position, he is set to become the first African-American lawmaker to lead a party in either chamber of Congress.

In the November 8, 2022, midterm elections, Republicans won the House by a slender margin of 222 to 212 in the 435-seat chamber, while Democrats retained control of the Senate.

Earlier on Thursday, McCarthy was defiantin the face of the stiff headwinds, saying that he will continue to face opposition until he reaches a deal with his detractors. “It’s all going to be this way until an agreement comes. It’s easier if we’re able to all get an agreement together,” he told CNN.

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