BET À DAY
A scenario unheard of in 100 years: the US House of Representatives was completely paralyzed on Wednesday, dissension in the Republican ranks preventing elected officials from choosing a president.
< p>The debates resumed at 12 p.m. in the hemicycle, but no agreement could be reached after a fourth vote.
Great favorite to replace Nancy Pelosi at the perch, the Republican Kevin McCarthy is dependent on the goodwill of some twenty elected Trumpists who accuse him of being too moderate and deliberately playing the spoilsport.
Members of the most conservative fringe of the party, these elected officials take advantage of the very thin Republican majority won in the mid-term elections in November to set their conditions. Without their support, Kevin McCarthy cannot be elected.
America wants “a new face, a new vision, a new leadership”, argued the turbulent elected representative of Texas, Chip Roy.
Kevin McCarthy, a member of the Republican general staff for more than 10 years, has already acceded to many of this group's demands, without breaking the deadlock. Worse, opposition to his candidacy seemed to crystallize.
Democratic President Joe Biden called the situation “embarrassing”, assuring that “the rest of the world” was watching the mess closely.
Among the non-refractory elected Republicans and by a large majority, annoyance was beginning to be felt, giving rise to very lively debates in the hemicycle. “It all seems messy,” conceded elected official Mike Gallagher, a close friend of Kevin McCarthy.
Wednesday morning, former President Donald Trump came out of the woodwork, calling on his social network for his party to do everything to “avoid an embarrassing defeat”.
“Now is the time for our great elected Republicans in the House to vote for Kevin” McCarthy, who will do “a good job, and maybe even a great job.”
But the former president, whose reputation as a kingmaker has been seriously questioned, also failed to convince this conservative group to fall into line.
The election of the “ speaker,” the third most important figure in American politics after the president and vice president, requires a majority of 218 votes. In the first four rounds, Kevin McCarthy failed to get past 203.
This situation also completely paralyzes the rest of the institution: without a president, elected officials cannot take an oath, and therefore pass any bill. Nor can the Republicans open the numerous investigations they had promised against Joe Biden.
A boon for Biden?
A situation that the democrats observe with a certain amusement, sometimes launching sardonic laughter and applause in the hemicycle. Joe Biden's party is united around the candidacy of Hakeem Jeffries, but the elected official does not have enough votes to be elected to the perch either.
Elected officials will continue to vote as long as a Speaker of the House of Representatives is elected. It was to be a matter of a few hours, but could extend over several weeks: in 1856, the elected members of Congress had agreed only after two months and 133 turns.
To be Facing a hostile but messy House could prove to be a political boon for Joe Biden, if he confirms his intention to run again in 2024 — a move he is expected to announce earlier this year.
The Democratic president went to Kentucky on Wednesday to praise the construction of a new large bridge financed by a pharaonic infrastructure law that he carried, and which had collected some Republican votes in Congress.
The opportunity for him to put on his favorite costume as a centrist president, fond of compromises, inherited from his long career as a senator.
Coincidentally, he is accompanied by the Republican leader of the other chamber of the United States Congress… Senate tenor Mitch McConnell.