WASHINGTON — Representative Kevin McCarthy of California offered new concessions to a hard-right band of rebels in a desperate attempt to lock down votes to become speaker, as a historic Republican standoff that paralyzed Congress Well, Thursday entered its third day without any resolution.
After losing a half-dozen votes in a row over two humiliating days in office, Mr. McCarthy privately agreed to more demands from the right-wing rebels that he had previously refused to accept, including allowing a lawmaker to resign at any time. included allowing the forcing of a snap vote. The time has come to oust him from the speakership, according to three people familiar with the talks, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, given that he was ongoing and no final deal was in place.
The Republican leader also committed to allowing the right-wing faction to elect one-third of party members on the powerful Rules Committee, which controls what legislation reaches the floor and in what form, according to one of the people. According to that, it is involved in negotiations, as well as opening spending bills to a free debate in which any legislator can propose changes, including those designed to nullify or overwhelm the measure.
Taken together, the concessions would significantly weaken the speaker’s power and create a fraught environment in the House, where the slim Republican majority already promises to make it difficult to govern. And it was unclear whether the motion would be enough to add up to the votes for Mr. McCarthy to prevail.
The House was set to reconvene in the afternoon after adjourning without resolution on Wednesday night and back in the fight, as Mr McCarthy and his allies bargained with defectors through the night to lock down their support. Can try to do.
In a showdown on the House floor not seen in 100 years, hard-right lawmakers repeatedly refused to throw their support behind party leader Mr McCarthy, who suffered another humiliating defeat on Wednesday in a grim recount of all three. did. Tolerated on Tuesday.
The episode again put Republican divisions on vivid display, imploding the House and detailing an ignominious start to the new Republican majority, possibly foreshadowing an era of dysfunction and disorganization.
Mr. McCarthy vowed to keep fighting, but it was unclear whether the impasse could be broken, and even former President Donald J.
crisis – first of its kind since 1923When nine ballots are needed to elect a Speaker – effectively preventing the House from functioning, preventing MPs from taking the oath, adopting new rules to govern the House, and preventing legislative work makes it impossible.
It has also exposed the weakness of Mr. McCarthy, who has billed himself as the heir apparent to the speakership and the man best suited to lead his party’s razor-thin majority, counting votes and managing his unruly raises serious questions about his ability to control the ranks. – and file.
With all members of the House present and elected to vote, Mr. McCarthy needs to get 218 votes to become speaker, leaving little room for Republican defections, as the party only controls 222 seats. He has consistently fallen well below that level this week, pulling no more than 203 votes even as his Democratic counterpart, Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, won 212, with every member of his party rallying behind him. went.
On Wednesday, Mr. McCarthy lost the fourth, fifth and sixth ballots, with the same 20 defectors who opposed him on Tuesday throwing their support behind Representative Byron Donalds of Florida, who just got elected to his second term. and was the first black man. Must be nominated by a Republican for the job.
Even as he and his allies were scrambling to get the votes they needed to garner a majority, Mr. McCarthy was losing ground.
Still, his supporters ended the day on Wednesday in a hopeful mood, suggesting that the new concessions that Mr. McCarthy had touted in private would sway the holdouts enough to finally give him the speakership. His political action committee struck a deal with the Club for Growth, a conservative anti-tax group that opposed Mr. McCarthy’s bid for speaker, on not spending money to support candidates in open primaries in safe Republican seats. agreed.
This was a key demand from conservatives, who were angered by the group’s efforts to consolidate more mainstream candidates over hard-right candidates, although it was unclear whether the pledge would be enough to win over any of the rebels. .
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