Deadlock continues over US House Speaker’s election

Washington, Jan 4 (EFE).- The United States House of Representatives adjourned on Wednesday without electing a speaker as the stalemate continued after Republican Kevin McCarthy suffered another defeat in the sixth round of voting.

The House agreed to postpone the election until Thursday noon amid a deadlock between McCarthy and a group of 20 Republicans, who have voted against him.

McCarthy has failed to get a majority of votes needed to win the post even as the House has held six rounds of polls in two days.

The House has been paralyzed without a speaker as it cannot conduct other business until the lawmakers elect Democrat Nancy Pelosi’s successor.

Finally, a narrow vote postponed the election again, as Democrats opposed the Republican motion to delay the process until Thursday.

McCarthy had forecast the outcome of the vote for his election, saying he did not believe anything would change on Wednesday.

“I think it’s probably best that people work through some more,” he told reporters after meeting behind closed doors Wednesday night with some detractors.

“I don’t think a vote tonight (makes) any difference, but I think a vote in the future will.”

McCarthy’s allies made a big concession to his opponents shortly before the decision to postpone the election.

A PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), endorsed by McCarthy, agreed not to spend money on open-seat primaries in safe Republican districts.

It was a key demand of the conservative group of 20 Republicans opposing McCarthy’s quest to win the gavel.

“CLF has never spent a dollar against a Republican incumbent before and obviously will continue that policy in the future,” a statement from CLF President Dan Conston said.

The far-right wing of the Republican Party, grouped into the so-called Freedom Caucus, has continued to block the election of a new House speaker.

House rules do not set forth any action other than to keep holding elections until somebody obtains the required majority to be a speaker.

Ultraconservative lawmakers have condemned McCarthy for not negotiating with them regarding one of their demands, including changing the House rules to allow them to oust a speaker more easily.

They also said he had not specified who among them would get to head congressional committees in the new Republican-dominated House.

The House speaker is third in line to lead the country.

The speaker can automatically ascend to the presidency if both the president and the vice president are killed, incapacitated, or removed from office.

Although the Republicans won a majority in the House in the November 8 elections and could complicate things for Democratic President Joe Biden during the last two years of his term, their victory was narrower than many had forecast.

Democrats managed to retain their majority in the Senate.

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