Thursday July 18, 2024

U.S. House fails to elect new speaker in 1st round of voting

Published : 18 Oct 2023, 00:16

  DF News Desk
U.S. Right-wing Republican Jim Jordan (front), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is seen in the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., the United States, on Oct. 16, 2023. Photo: Xinhua by Aaron Schwartz.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday failed to elect a new speaker in the first round of voting, as Right-wing Republican Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, didn't garner enough support from his own party two weeks after the historical ouster of Kevin McCarthy, reported Xinhua.

Jordan, who was nominated by House Republicans on Friday, won 200 votes from the 220 Republicans present, while House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic nominee, received all 212 votes from his party, with both falling shy of the 217 majority needed to become the next House speaker.

Jordan lost 20 Republicans, with six voting for former speaker McCarthy, and seven voting for House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who previously won the Republican speakership nomination but failed to unite the party and dropped out of the race.

With a slim 221-212 Republican majority in the chamber, a Republican nominee can't afford to lose more than just a few fellow members in order to win the speakership.

Jordan, co-founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, is considered a far-right figure within the Republican party, and has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

Speaker Pro Tempore Representative Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina Republican, quickly called the chamber to recess after the first round of voting. The continuation of a bitter party infighting is expected, which has paralyzed the House for days.

The House can't move forward on its legislative process until a speaker is chosen, and lawmakers need to pass a spending bill before government funding runs out in mid-November. The House is also under pressure to take action amid the escalating Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The latest chaos came after the unprecedented ouster of McCarthy, who was booted out of his position two weeks ago, in a move initiated by a conservative member of his own party. It marked the first time in U.S. history that a sitting House speaker has been voted out of office.

In January's speaker election, McCarthy clawed his way to victory by cutting a deal with conservatives after a grueling four days and 15 rounds of voting, a process House Republicans certainly want to avoid.