Eleven votes and no president: what happens in the US Congress?

On Thursday, the US House of Representatives decided, with the entire Democratic minority in opposition, to postpone the 12th vote until Friday noon (17:00 GMT) to elect a new president.

“Since no candidate has received a majority of the votes cast, no president has been elected.”Camra’s secretary, Cheryl Johnson, said after the eleventh failed attempt by Republican Kevin McCarthy to be elected, when he did not get the necessary support in his party, which has the majority.

One of McCarthy’s critics, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, voted in two rounds for Donald Trump, a symbolic but telling sign of the split within the Republican Party.

And the Democratic candidate, Hakeem Jefferies, received 212 votes, which does not exceed the 218 votes required to replace Democrat Nancy Pelosi in the position, which is the third term in the United States.

Republicans narrowly won the vote to adjourn the House session, with all Democrats staunchly opposing it. Thus McCarthy’s allies bought time to try to convince his critics to accept the deal.

unusual case

McCarthy became the first candidate since 1923 to lose a vote for the House leadership.

There are twenty Republican representatives who are reluctant to support McCarthy, despite the concessions that the candidate has tried to make in recent days. This lack of consensus exposed the split between the more moderate wing of the Republican Party and the radicals, led by Donald Trump.

The 118th US Congress was supposed to start last Tuesday, but it remains paralyzed as McCarthy tries to persuade his critics and debates whether it would be better to find another candidate who would generate more consensus.

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What position is being voted on?

The House of Representatives or House of Representatives is formed every two years in the United States. Once formed, a president must be elected, who is known as the ‘Chairman of the Council’. It is one of the most important political offices in the United States.

To date, Democrat Nancy Pelosi has held this position for two terms (2007-2011 and 2019-2023). A figure who is the third authority in the country, after the President of the United States, Joe Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris, who also presides over the Senate.

His role in the House of Representatives is to put together much of the legislative calendar, which bills get voted on and when they get voted on. That is why from his position he can decide which projects are voted on and when.

What process will be elected?

The Republican still has 201 votes, one up or one down, and needs 218 votes to be elected.

This is the majority of those present in the assembly because the lower house of the country has 435 seats. There are currently only 434 members of Congress since Donald McEachin, Democrat of Virginia, passed away in November.

After last November’s elections, the Republicans won an overwhelming majority of 222 members of Congress, which complicates the task of McCarthy, who must convince almost all Republicans.

If any of the 434 members of Congress do not vote or abstain, the threshold for reaching a majority will drop.

Why can’t McCarthy unite his party?

Despite growing up in a Democratic-leaning family, McCarthy met Republican Representative Bill Thomas, and began working with him as an intern. Later he incorporated it into his party.

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The Republican has led the opposition since 2019, which appeared to be the perfect choice, despite not being able to fully convince his party.

He jumped into national politics from California just over a decade ago, and between 2014 and 2019 he was number two on that board.

This is not the first time McCarthy has attempted to become Speaker of the House. It happened in 2015, Republican John Boehner left office after losing the support of the Tea Party heirs.

At that time, McCarthy proposed to take his place, which did not satisfy the radical minority in the Republican Party, forcing him to withdraw his candidacy.

Who opposes McCarthy and what are they asking?

The 20 wayward members of Congress belong to the Freedom Caucus, a group formed in 2015 by the most radical Republicans — many of them members of the extinct Tea Party — with the goal of driving Republican leadership to the right and loyalty to former President Donald Trump. .

Among the concessions that McCarthy wishes to make is the possibility of submitting to a vote of no confidence in order to remove him only at the request of one of the 435 deputies.

Moreover, he intends to give him a much higher representation than is compatible with him on one of the most powerful committees in the Chamber. And this committee depends, among other things, on which laws will be voted on.

Finally, they require several chairmen on the rules committee, to ensure a vote on boundary issues and to chair several subcommittees.

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What does Trump say about it?

Despite the fact that most of the critics are loyal Trump supporters, the former president had to step in to try and sort out the mess.

“Now is the time for all the great House Republicans to vote for Kevin, seal the deal and win,” he said via a message on his social network, Truth Social.

“Republicans, don’t turn a big win into a huge, embarrassing loss,” added Trump, who announced that he would run for his party’s nomination in next year’s presidential election.

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