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Inching forwards – but still not enough votes for Kevin McCarthy to become US House speaker

Republican Kevin McCarthy is on track to securing enough support for the US House of Representatives Speaker. He has 14 more votes in the 12th ballot.

However, the additional backing Mr McCarthy has received is not enough to enable him to succeed his predecessor, Democrat Nancy pelosi.

Seven other Republicans voted against him, leaving him with three less votes than the majority required to win.

Members will therefore be asked to vote for the 13th time. This time, they will only have to choose between Hakeem Jeffries and Mr McCarthy, the Democratic leader. There won’t be a Republican challenger trying to steal their votes.

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After Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, said that he did not trust McCarthy with power, several Republicans walked out of the chamber.

After the fall midterm elections, the GOP gained control of the House, the lower US chamber. They secured a narrow 222-212 majority.

The election of the speaker is usually a formality. The leader of the largest party in House generally becomes the candidate.

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Recent splits in the Republican Party have led to the first defeat for a nominee in over a century.

In each of the 11 other votes this Week, at least 200 Republicans voted for Mr McCarthy. Although less than 10% of Republican politicians voted against McCarthy in the House of Representatives, that is still enough to deny him 218.

Continue reading: There are many parallels between the chaos in the US Republican Party and UK Conservatives. Adam Boulton

Image The empty chair of the speaker

This week, the chamber was filled with sessions to decide who the speaker is. One session lasted eight hours.

This impasse has raised doubts about the Republicans’ ability over the next two years to govern. Others believe he might be more motivated as a survivor in one of the most brutal fights for speaker’s hand in US history.

After he had privately accepted many of his detractors’ demands, including the reinstatement and revocation of a House rule that would have allowed any member to call a vote to remove McCarthy from office, the numbers of Mr. McCarthy’s votes seem to have improved.

This change, along with others, will mean that the job he has worked so hard for will be less rewarding.

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