Headline RoundupJanuary 6th, 2023

Why Can't the House of Representatives Elect a Speaker?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Update 1/5/22 5:00 P.M. EST: The House of Representatives finished its ninth vote without a candidate gaining a majority. A tenth vote is underway. According to the New York Times (Lean Left Bias), this is the most protracted speaker election since 1859.

Since the new Congress convened Tuesday morning, representatives have been deadlocked in attempts to elect the Speaker of the House. The Republican Party, which gained a slim majority in Congress in the 2022 midterm elections, is unable to elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) into the speaker position due to 20 Republican representatives not voting for him.

Why Do They Keep Voting? If no candidate acquires 218 votes, the roll call is repeated and representatives vote again. As of Thursday afternoon, the representatives voted nine times, with no candidate securing the needed 218 votes.

Why Isn’t Jeffries Winning? Despite Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) receiving the most votes, the winner must acquire 218 votes, assuming all representatives cast a vote for a candidate.

What Do The GOP Dissenters Want? The faction of Republican lawmakers not voting for McCarthy made their objections known weeks ago. Despite weeks of negotiations, the faction now appears adamantly opposed to McCarthy. Before the sixth vote, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) called on McCarthy to withdraw from contention.

How The Media Is Covering It: Left- and center-rated sources are highlighting public infighting among Republicans, contrasting it with Democrats' united vote for Jeffries. One CNN Opinion writer said McCarthy is “meeting his monster,” stating that the faction’s dissent is an “all-too-predictable outcome of handing power to the unhinged.” A Fox News Opinion writer sympathized with the GOP dissenters, calling the gridlock a “necessary first step” in a much-needed Republican Party “reboot.”

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