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McCarthy’s fifth attempt to become Speaker of the United States House of Representatives failed


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The deeply divided US House of Representatives failed to elect a president for a second day, as the fifth attempt by Republican leader Kevin McCarthy failed.

Hardline conservatives have been blocking McCarthy’s establishment choice in a series of humiliating ballots that have paralyzed the House of Representatives in Congress since it flipped to narrow Republican control after the new year.

The former California businessman failed to secure the gavel for the fifth time Wednesday as his path was blocked by an emboldened faction of about 20 right-wingers who made history by pushing the speaker race beyond the first ballot for the first time in a century. .

The debacle — which President Joe Biden has called “embarrassing” — has left the chamber unable to take oaths, fill committees, adopt rules for legislation, or negotiate a path through paralysis.

McCarthy – who has raised millions of dollars electing right-wing lawmakers – returned his party to a 222-212 majority in the House of Representatives in last year’s midterm elections after four years in the wilderness.

The 57-year-old has long desired the chance to replace Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who was an icon in American politics who held the gavel in the last Congress.

But McCarthy’s bid for Speaker opened a bitter rift within House Republicans, with centrists referring to the far-right faction leading the charge against him as the “Taliban 20.”

Embarrassing defeat

And the confrontation with the Speaker of the House sparked frantic negotiations behind the scenes as McCarthy allies sought to strike a deal with his conservative critics that could also win the approval of moderates.

He told reporters in Congress he plans to stay in the race and has spoken to his biggest VIP supporter, Donald Trump, who still supports his candidacy.

On Wednesday, the former president called for an end to McCarthy’s siege, warning the rebellious Republicans not to “turn a great victory into a giant and embarrassing defeat.”

The comments didn’t sway the House floor at all, and were dismissed by staunch Trump ally Lorraine Boebert, who said her “favorite president” had moved things forward.

“The president should tell Kevin McCarthy, sir, you have no votes, and it’s time to walk away,” she said.

No business can be conducted in the House of Representatives without a speaker, which means the chamber must keep voting until someone wins a majority.

But there was no indication that any agreement could be struck to end the deadlock as members prepare to rally around a long and iterative string of polling.

McCarthy, who has been hemorrhaging support and losing every round to Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, will be pressured to quickly reverse momentum if he stays in the race.

If he decides he’s too inclined to climb, the bipartisanship will likely start looking for a “unity” candidate — a consensus Republican who is committed to being as bipartisan as possible.

Republicans will first look down their ranks, as two McCarthy loyalists — incoming House Majority Leader Steve Scales and Jim Jordan, a darling of the right — appear to be the most viable alternatives.

Some of McCarthy’s critics have objected to specific political positions, but many others have just pointed to widespread distaste for his candidacy.

Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz recently wrote of McCarthy: “Every Republican in Congress knows Kevin doesn’t really believe in anything. He has no ideology.”

The deli’s former owner ditched the store to his conservative opponents, agreeing to their demands for a change in the way the House does business and a lowering of the support threshold needed to impeach a speaker.

But none of them showed signs of wavering.

Late Tuesday, Gaetz sent a letter to the architect of the Capitol building complaining that McCarthy had prematurely moved his belongings to the speaker’s desk.

“How long will it stay there before it is deemed squatter?” Gaetz’s request under official letterhead.

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