US House paralyzed as GOP fails to nominate next speaker

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Representative Steve Scalise has declared that he would not run for US House Speaker after seemingly failing to gain enough support from other Republicans to win a vote in the entire house. His decision has thrown the lower chamber of Congress into disarray, with former Speaker Kevin McCarthy ousted last week.

Scalise told the press after a closed-door meeting with fellow Republican legislators on Thursday, “I just shared with my colleagues that I’m withdrawing my name as a candidate for Speaker-designee.” He went on to say that people are still prioritising “their own agendas,” and he asked his colleagues to “come together for the country” as soon as possible.

Having narrowly beaten Trump-endorsed conservative Jim Jordan by 113 votes to 99 in a closed-door meeting of GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, the majority leader was busy trying to win over some of the hardline supporters of his rival.

Scalise would have required 217 votes to become Speaker of the House, and with the Republican Party possessing 221 seats, the Louisiana lawmaker could only afford four defections. However, he appears to have failed to persuade enough Republicans, with some arguing that Scalise should focus on his health instead, after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a kind of blood cancer.

Following the announcement of the majority leader, some members, like as Representative Jim Banks, urged his colleagues to rally around Jordan, while others recommended giving Patrick McHenry, who was appointed interim speaker pro tempore, more authority to govern the House for a period of time.

Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries stated that “House Republicans need to end the GOP Civil War, now.”

Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries stated that “House Republicans need to end the GOP Civil War, now.” He also stated his openness to “find a bipartisan path forward” if “traditional Republicans… break from the extremists and join us.”

The House has been without a speaker since last Tuesday, when Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, a close supporter of Jordan’s, requested a vote to remove California Rep. Kevin McCarthy from the office. McCarthy was accused of kowtowing to the Democratic Party by attempting to pass a large spending bill and striking a “secret side-deal” with Biden to continue funding the Ukrainian military.

Legislation cannot be passed in the absence of a speaker, which means that no more funding for Ukraine or Israel may be authorised.