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    House Speaker Vote Could Extend into Coming Months

    “The bottom line is this is not a good start for the new Congress under the so-called Republican control,” Wiesemeyer says. (iStock)

    The House of Representatives convened on Jan. 3, a date designated by the 20th amendment of the Constitution that stipulates Congress should start each new session on this day.

    The first day proved busy, as the House started with a vote on a new speaker to replace current Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

    With 222 republican members and 212 democrats and one vacancy, the odds looked to favor Rep. Kevin McCarthy, according to Jim Wiesemeyer, ProFarmer policy analyst.

    McCarthy needed 218 votes—when all members are present and voting—to win the seat and fell short in the first and second ballot at 203. McCarthy lost 10 of those tallies in the first ballot to Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and 19 in the second ballot to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

    “The bottom line is this is not a good start for the new Congress under the so-called Republican control,” Wiesemeyer says.

    What’s Next?

    With the majority bids rejected, the House moved to new ballots and fresh votes for the first time in 100 years.

    This bidding cycle could go on for weeks or months, as it did in 1923 when the speaker was not agreed upon until the ninth vote. Similarly, in 1869, the House voted for two months before reaching a consensus.

    If McCarthy fails in multiple rounds of votes for House speaker, Roll Call reports that some more moderate Republicans have discussed the possibility of working with Democrats to elect Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) as speaker instead.

    Upton retired from Congress at the end of 2022, but House speakers aren’t legally required to be sitting members of Congress.




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