Republicans were busy behind the scenes on Thursday to finally nominate a president for the US House of Representatives, and put an end to the paralysis generated by the revolt of a handful of right-wing elected officials of the party.
Favorite to replace Nancy Pelosi at the roost, Republican Kevin McCarthy was forced to make new concessions on Wednesday evening in the face of the demands of around twenty elected officials Trumpists.
Members of the most conservative fringe of the party, these elected officials accuse Mr. McCarthy of being too moderate and take advantage of the very thin Republican majority won in the November mid-term elections to set their conditions.
< p>The Republican, who cannot be elected without their support, notably acceded to one of their requests aimed at facilitating the ousting of the “speaker”, according to several American media.
Kevin McCarthy, member of the Republican staff for more than 10 years, had already acceded to many of the demands of this group, without this allowing the situation to be unblocked. Worse, opposition to his candidacy seemed to crystallize. hemicycle on Wednesday.
After six unsuccessful votes since Tuesday, the elected officials had agreed on Wednesday evening to suspend their proceedings until Thursday noon local time.
The election of the “speaker”, the third most important figure in American politics after the president and the vice-president, requires a majority of 218 votes. Kevin McCarthy has so far failed to exceed 203.
The California representative does not have a credible competitor. Only the name of group leader Steve Scalise circulates as a possible alternative, without his chances seeming serious.
This deadlock has very concrete repercussions: without a president, elected officials cannot take the oath, and therefore pass any bill.
“I have the hope today that the Republicans will stop bickering, backbiting, and backstabbing, so that we can work in the service of the American people,” Democrat Hakeem Jeffries said Thursday. roost, was speaking at a press conference ahead of the third day of voting.
And for the elected Democrat Katherine Clark, the date is not insignificant either.
“Tomorrow represents the second anniversary of (the assault on the Capitol) of January 6, it is a day black for our country, but the paroxysm of what has become of the Republican Party,” she said. that “the rest of the world” was watching the mess in Congress closely.
Annoyance was beginning to be felt in the staff of the “Grand Old Party”, giving rise to very lively debates in the hemicycle.
“We have work to do and which we cannot get down to,” denounced the elected Republican Mike Gallagher.
The Republicans are thus unable for the moment to open the numerous investigations they had promised against Joe Biden.
Donald Trump came out on Wednesday, urging the group of free spirits to toe the line.
But the former president, whose reputation as a kingmaker has been in serious doubt lately months, has not managed to convince them either.
A situation that the Democrats observe with a certain amusement, between smirking and applause to their Republican colleagues. Joe Biden's party is united around the candidacy of leader Hakeem Jeffries, but the elected official does not have enough votes to access the perch either.
The elected officials will continue to vote until that a Speaker of the House of Representatives be 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 decision he is due to announce earlier this year.