- A third ballot is needed in the Republicans’ bitter power struggle for the presidency of the US House of Representatives.
- Republican Kevin McCarthy lost the vote on the first and second attempts.
This once again showed the inner turmoil of the Republican faction. Congressman Jim Jordan re-nominated McCarthy for the second ballot and urged his party colleagues to close ranks.
Actually a formality
The post of chairman of the chamber, which has been held by Democrat Nancy Pelosi in recent years, ranks third in the national ranking after the president and his vice president. Usually the choice is a formality.
One of McCarthy’s toughest opponents, MP Matt Gaetz, in turn nominated Jordan and emphasized that it might be better to choose someone who does not want the post so desperately. In the short nomination speech for McCarthy, Jordan already showed more visions for the future than had ever been heard from him.
Party colleagues refuse
In the first ballot, however, 19 party colleagues rebelled against McCarthy, refused to support him and voted for other candidates. Jordan had already received six votes in the first ballot. Given a narrow majority of Republicans in the chamber, McCarthy did not get the necessary number of votes. The same was repeated in the second ballot.
The Democrats have no chance of appointing the chairman on their own because they are the smaller faction in the chamber. Despite this, their candidate, Hakeem Jeffries, received even more votes than McCarthy in the first and second ballots.
Decision only in days?
It is the first time in a hundred years that an election to the powerful office has required more than one attempt and a faction has refused allegiance to its candidate in the first round.
It is still unclear how many additional votes will be necessary to elect a new chair for the parliamentary chamber. It is also unclear whether the election will last several days. In 1923, nine ballots were required to elect a chairman.