The second day of the 118th Congress ended just like day one: The House has a House speaker and Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is still looking for the necessary votes to take the gavel.
Many Democrats may find Mr. McCarthy’s plight hilarious, given that he twisted himself in every way possible to earn the support of some of the most extreme members of the House Republican Conference, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and Paul Gosar. When Mr. Gosar tweeted an anime video featuring a character with his head killing a character with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s head on it, Mr. McCarthy defended him and said he would put him back on committees. Mr Gosar repaid Mr McCarthy by voting against him and nominating Andy Biggs as Speaker of the House.
Mr. McCarthy no longer said Donald Trump bore responsibility for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, but he went to Mar-a-Lago to get on his good side. All of this came as the House Republican Conference excommunicated Republicans who tried to hold Mr. Trump accountable. Moreover, unlike previous Republican leaders, Mr. McCarthy has failed to distinguish himself.
Numerous memes abounded showing Democrats munching on popcorn, given that they are totally united in supporting their leader Hakeem Jeffries as speaker. But the gloating may be short-lived. Ultimately, Mr. McCarthy will get the required 218 votes needed, or the Republicans will put forward a consensus candidate and give him the boot. But once that happens, any potential speaker will be forced to actually try to govern.
And there is plenty of work to do this congress. But the idea of governing is essentially at odds with the current Republican conference. The United States will hit the debt limit this year, which means Congress will have to raise it. If not, the country will not pay off its debts, which could push the country and the world into a financial crisis. In addition, Congress will have to pass a budget or a standing resolution later this year to keep the government open.
In addition, the Democrats still have the majority in the Senate and occupy the White House, which means that a speaker McCarthy or someone else eventually has to make a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and President Joe Biden. Since most Republicans would hate such an idea, he would need the help of the Democrats to guide the legislation to be passed. But the moment that happens, he immediately risks an uprising in his caucus. In addition, he has agreed to allow a motion to vacate the seat, which would essentially allow part of his conference to stage a no-confidence motion to boot him.
That means that even if he or someone else survives, he will be significantly injured, as was the case with his Republican predecessor John Boehner, who resigned shortly after attempting to leave the seat. Mr McCarthy’s concession planted the seeds of the idea in the minds of right-wing insurgents. Regardless of who becomes the next speaker, the House conservatives have drawn blood and they have forced each speaker into an impossible position and placed the country in a fast-paced fashion. track to a crisis.