House Speaker Still Not Elected as GOP Stays Divided

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By Anzor Mustafa, Staff Writer

As of Friday morning, the United States House of Representatives has still failed to elect a Speaker of the House despite already voting 11 times: something that has not occurred in 100 years.

Kevin McCarthy, the Republican candidate for the position, has failed to get his colleagues to come together to vote for him. He stated, “There’s no timeline for getting 218 votes.” Since the start of the voting, he has lost 11 votes.  They have adjourned for a third night with no consensus. Now, historical documents have to be pulled out as Congress navigates an unprecedented circumstance.

This chaos demonstrates the growing division in the Republican Party as the consequences of January 6th, and a divided political world, permeate politics. Ranging from election deniers, pro-trump, anti-trump, and moderates, there is no unity in the Republican party; becoming extremely evident – in the split votes for House Speaker.

Ahead of Thursday’s final speaker vote, two members leading the 20-person anti-McCarthy movement nominated two other candidates: The first was GOP Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma. The second, and most noteworthy nominee was former President Donald Trump, who was put forward by Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz: gaining only one vote. The House plans to reconvene on Friday at noon, as McCarthy attempts to make a deal with Republicans to secure his position.

Hakeem Jeffries, the new Democratic leader, made history as the first Black lawmaker to lead a party in Congress. He has been gaining more and more votes leading with over 10 votes ahead of McCarthy.  Congresswoman from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, predicts that Kevin McCarthy will not win the majority vote. 

During speeches, there have been notable moments: remarkably, Rep. Kat Cammack accused Democrats of having, “popcorn and blankets and alcohol and blankets that is coming over there.” Jokingly, Ocasio-Cortez and Greg Casar said on Instagram live, “we wish we had those things.”

Congress cannot do anything without a leader, and cannot swear in its 418 members until there is a Speaker. Ms.Ventimiglia noted, “As an educator, it’s generating conversation for students to learn about how the government functions and a lot about the procedures and how the House of Representatives works. However, as a citizen, it would be nice for them to settle and get the government running.”

History is being made as the U.S. is in uncharted territory; moreover, entering a new sociopolitical atmosphere.