Trump urges U.S. House Republicans to break stalemate, back McCarthy

WASHINGTON, Jan 4 (Reuters) – Former President Donald Trump urged fellow Republicans in the House of Representatives on Wednesday to elect his ally Kevin McCarthy to lead the chamber, entering a brutal showdown that raised questions about the party’s ability to advance its agenda. in Washington.

McCarthy, a congressman from California who has served as the top House Republican since 2019, passed three failed votes for House speaker on Tuesday. About 20 hardliners on the right side of the party – who represent less than 10% of House Republicans – voted against it. The last time the House failed to elect a speaker on the first ballot was 1923.

“Now is the time for our Republican House Members to VOTE FOR KEVIN,” Trump wrote on his social media site Truth Social on Wednesday morning.

The second day of voting was expected to begin when the House convenes at noon (1700 GMT) on Wednesday.

Trump has previously urged Republicans to support McCarthy. It was unclear whether his message would break the barriers that blocked McCarthy’s path to succeeding Democrat Nancy Pelosi in a powerful post that was second in line for the presidency.

Trump remains influential among Republicans and is the only candidate announced so far for the 2024 presidential election. Republicans won a narrow majority in the House – 222-212 – in November’s midterm elections. Some in the party have blamed Trump for the Republicans’ failure to win more House seats.

Also Read :  Israel's Ben-Gvir, in leaked audio, cautious on advancing far-right agenda

A weaker-than-expected performance in the midterm elections contributed to the House leadership crisis by leaving McCarthy dependent on the support of a small group of hardliners in his party. That group wants more control over leadership and more influence over the party’s approach to spending and debt.


McCarthy’s many Republican opponents have maintained their position even after Trump’s latest mystery.

Representative Matt Gaetz told Fox News that the former president’s position was “sad,” and Scott Perry, chairman of the hardline Freedom Caucus, said on Twitter that he still opposed McCarthy.

Republican control of the House could empower the party to block Democratic President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda. But the leadership move has raised questions about whether the House will be able to meet basic obligations like funding government operations, let alone advance other policy priorities ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

“This is not a good look,” Biden said of the House leadership struggle, speaking to reporters at the White House. “It’s not a good thing. This is the United States of America, and I hope they get their act together.”

Also Read :  World shares slip, dollar nurses losses as U.S. payrolls loom

McCarthy pledged late Tuesday to stay in the race and said no other Republican could win.

Trump combined his endorsement of McCarthy with a racial slur against the wife of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell appeared Wednesday with Biden in Kentucky to highlight infrastructure investments included in a bipartisan bill passed in 2021.

House hardliners have blasted such a legislative compromise, raising concerns about Congress’ ability to prevent a default when the federal government approaches its debt ceiling later this year.


On Tuesday McCarthy’s opponent chose conservative Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio as his candidate. Jordan supports McCarthy and has not put himself forward in the speaker’s race. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana was also seen as an alternative for speaker.

Tuesday’s session, which featured about five hours of failed votes, made Democrats the target of ridicule for Republicans. McCarthy drew only 202 votes on the last ballot before the House adjourned.

“It’s a sad day for the House of Representatives as an institution, a sad day for democracy. It’s a sad day for the American people,” House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries told reporters Tuesday after receiving 212 Democratic votes on the three ballots. , the best. Total McCarthy.

Also Read :  Earnings season reveals the mood of corporate America

A majority of votes is required to determine a speaker, not a plurality.

The right-wing uprising also fueled frustration among other Republicans, who said McCarthy’s opponents were stalling plans to investigate Biden and his administration and advance legislative priorities on immigration, energy and other issues.

“The export is growing among members because they’ve had a hard time finding out exactly what the holdings want,” Republican Representative Dusty Johnson told reporters.

Some Republicans said continued obstruction could prevent them from working with Democrats to elect a moderate Republican as speaker. Jeffries told reporters that Republicans had not approached Democrats about supporting a consensus candidate to end the news and that Democrats were not going to solve the Republicans’ problem for them.

If elected, McCarthy would become second in the line of presidential succession after Vice President Kamala Harris.

Reporting by David Morgan, Richard Cowan, Makini Brice, Moira Warburton and Gram Slattery and Trevor Hunnicutt; writing by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Will Dunham, Colleen Jenkins, Scott Malone and Chizu Nomiyama

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Back to top button