For the first time in 100 years, the U.S. Congress failed to elect a new president at the opening of the legislative session

Emmanuel Paul
Emmanuel Paul - Journalist/ Storyteller

Republicans failed to elect a new speaker in the House of Representatives.

After three rounds of voting, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy failed to win over all of his party’s members.

The new Democratic leader, Hakeem Jeffries, came in first with 212 votes against 202 for Kevin McCarthy and 20 for Jim Jordan.

After a third attempt, the process was adjourned for Wednesday. The Carlifornia elected official even lost a vote on the third try. After supporting Kevin McCarthy twice, Florida Congressman (Representative) Byron Donalds switched his vote to Jim Jordan.

In spite of this bitter failure, Mr. McCarthy persists and signs. He believes he still has a chance to be elected president of Congress.  “It’s not about me,” McCarthy said. “It’s about the conference now [with] members clinging to their [own agenda]…they want something in return, for their own benefit.” he threw out in visible frustration.
Although they have no chance of retaining control of the House, all 212 Democratic representatives have rallied behind Hakeem Jeffries. And Kevin McCarthy is not expected to count on the support of Democrats who intend to watch the Republicans’ disarray with glee. Presiding over the ceremony for the last time in her congressional career, Nancy Pelosi said she hoped her Republican colleagues would reach a consensus since they have a majority in the House, before adding: “That’s their problem.
The White House does not intend to interfere in the battle between Republicans either. Asked this Tuesday at his first press conference for the year 2023, the White House spokeswoman made it known that the president “will not interfere” in this saga.
“Look, as you know, the president was a U.S. senator for 34 years and he understands how this process works,” Karine Jean-Pierre said. “He certainly won’t interfere in this process. We look forward to working with our colleagues in Congress, including Democrats, Republicans and independents this year and the new Congress, obviously, to continue to move the country forward for the American people,” said Ms. Jean-Pierre.
Tuesday’s fiasco is a first in the 100-year history of the House of Representatives. In 1923, U.S. lawmakers failed several times to elect a president.
In 1855, it took two months and 133 tries before lawmakers reached agreement on the leader of the lower chamber.

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