The findings come from the work of Matt Glassman, senior fellow at the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University; Congressional Research Service and House Historian.
Do they have to vote on Wednesday?
Most simply, no they don’t. While the House prepares to resume at noon, the member-elect – technically speaking, in fact, all members are “member-elect” until a speaker is elected – prevents another speaker from taking the vote. First can postpone again.
However, with the current impasse, the House GOP’s options are limited. They can either vote for the speaker or, as on Tuesday, a legislator can move to adjourn if Republicans want more time to negotiate privately. A majority is needed to pass such a resolution, so Democrats could be a factor in such a scenario. The MPs will also have to fix a specific time for the House to resume sitting.
Are there relevant historical parallels to this situation?
Every election and situation is different, but 1923 is probably the most consistent. In that instance, a group of House Republicans sought progressive procedural concessions from sitting speaker Frederick Gillett.
How the century-old floor fight can be instructive for McCarthy’s fight. The chamber voted four times on the first day and again four times on the second day without electing anyone. A deal was then struck and on the first ballot of the third day the chamber elected Gillett speaker. It was the last speaker election that required multiple ballots to decide the winner.
What was the longest speaker fight in history?
It would take some time for McCarthy to even come close to the longest battle in history in 1855. That fight, which took place in the years before the Civil War, initially attracted more than 20 candidates and took two months to resolve. Nathaniel Banks of Massachusetts ultimately won the contest, which went for an astonishing 133 ballots.
Was it a one time thing?
actually no. Fights over the speakership, especially in the 19th century, often took several ballots to resolve. Each received more than 10 ballots in the election of Speaker John Taylor (22 ballots); Philip Barbour (12 ballots); John Bell (10 ballots); Robert Hunter (11 ballots); Howell Cobb (63 ballots); William Pennington (44 ballots) and Banks, among others.
Is there any way to elect a speaker without a majority vote?
In short, yes. The Chamber has very wide latitude in determining how it wishes to elect the Speaker, as long as a majority of the members-elect approve such a move.
The House opted to adopt the use of plurality voting to decide the speakership in both 1849 and 1855. He first structured the election to allow three standard votes. Then, if no one succeeds in obtaining a majority, a fourth will be decisive at the majority threshold.
This seems highly unlikely given the divided House and the need for a majority to support it. But the option is there.
Do they have to keep calling names one by one?
Similarly, again, the House can structure its vote how it pleases with majority buying. Previous Congresses have opted for election by secret ballot (before 1839) or by resolution.
MPs opted to use motions to elect Speakers William Bankhead (1936) and Sam Rayburn (1940) upon the death of former Speakers in the middle of a term. Both these motions were passed by voice vote.
What is the shortest tenure of the speaker?
One day, but this is a bit special case. Speaker Theodore Pomeroy of New York held the gavel for a day after his predecessor, Schuyler Colfax, resigned to become vice president. Pomeroy helped close the last day of the 40th Congress and then retired.
Should he eventually emerge with the gavel, McCarthy will not face those conditions but will continue to face threats from his right flank, which has insisted on a procedural device that allows a single member to vote to oust the sitting speaker. will allow to give.
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