House votes adjourned after McCarthy wins: Speaker’s live announcements

WASHINGTON — On another day as Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California tries to become speaker of the House, it was abundantly clear: America must prepare for the possibility of a Congress in perpetual disarray for the next two years.

The recipe for chaos was already there: the toxic mix of a slim governing majority of Republicans, a hard-right who hates the normal workings of government, and a speaker who bowed out repeatedly in his quest for power.

But watching it play out again and again this week in the House Ford left little doubt that Congress as a body will struggle over the next two years to fulfill its most basic obligations, including funding the government, including the military. A catastrophic federal debt default.

Already, the function of the council was stopped before it started, rendering the body essentially useless. Without a Speaker, lawmakers could not pass bills, form committees, or be sworn in. And Mr. McCarthy had promised even more concessions to the hard-right group, which would significantly weaken the speakership in exchange for their votes. Tools to disrupt business in the House – and the ability to hold him hostage to their demands.

“He’s going to be a weak speaker,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego, Democrat of Arizona. “The problem is that he has weakened the institution in general — because he wants the vain title of speaker, but without the power or potential responsibility.”

Before the first Speaker vote, Mr. McCarthy had made some key concessions, including a return to a rule requiring lawmakers to immediately vote to oust the speaker. On Wednesday, Mr. A major political action group affiliated with McCarthy agreed to limit its role in GOP primaries in safe Republican districts, another demand from conservatives busy with his efforts to oust hard-right candidates in favor of mainstream candidates. .

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On Thursday, Mr. McCarthy also privately agreed to additional concessions that would disrupt the normal functioning of the House and reduce his ability to control it. Mr. A single lawmaker could move to impeach the speaker, instead of the five that McCarthy initially proposed as a compromise, according to people familiar with the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The hard-right will gain approval powers for some plum committee work, including influential rules including one-third of the committee’s members, which control what legislation can be achieved and in what form. Spending bills must be considered under so-called open rules, which allow any member to vote an unlimited number of amendments, which can either absorb or derail the legislation entirely.

Rep. David Valadao, Republican of California and an ally of McCarthy, said moderate members of the convention were concerned that cutting the deals would give more influence to the far right.

“Obviously we’re concerned about it,” he said, “but I’m not happy with the direction it’s going.”

Mr. McCarthy rejected the idea that he was damaging the speaker’s position or the House’s ability to function.

“Has it reduced the power of all the other speakers?” After a reporter asked if allowing an immediate vote to remove him would weaken him, he backtracked. “Then why should it cut mine? It’s only a weak speaker if I’m afraid of it.

In fact, the threat of such a vote has plagued the previous two Republican Speakers, with right-wing lawmakers in 2015 from John A. Boehner was helped out, and his successor, Paul D. It hung heavily on Ryan.

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Mainstream Republicans pushed some of the hard-right’s terms, such as demands for key caucus positions, but others won broad support in the party.

Some of the changes to the proposed rules come in response to widespread concerns about the way Congress operates. Many House Republicans have long been frustrated with the current state of affairs on spending bills. Lawmakers, forced to vote on massive catchall measures running to thousands of pages and hundreds of billions of dollars, have only hours to review their contents.

“A lot of things that the ‘no caucus’ is asking for, we want to see anyway,” said Stephanie Bice, a Republican representative of Oklahoma and a McCarthy supporter. So, here are some things that may be helpful and relevant. Are we going to like them all? I do not know. I think it should be looked at.”

But Mr. As McCarthy gave more ground to the far-right caucus, it was clear that control of the lower chamber in the 118th Congress would be more difficult. With hard-right lawmakers empowered to derail spending bills or call for the speaker’s removal at any time, some worried the chamber would be deadlocked from the start.

“The concessions he’s made will dictate the outcome of legislative achievements, because the minority of the minority, because of the free caucus,” said Representative Richard E. Neil said. Ways and Means Committee. “The problem for him is that with every offer, every day he has to wake up wondering if he’s still going to do his job. Because the slightest disagreement can lead to a movement from the body to remove him from the speech.

Mr. Protests against McCarthy’s leadership were both personal and political. Some members say they hate him so much and will not vote for him under any circumstances. Others used the Speaker’s election as an opportunity to make major changes in the functioning of the House. Some have sought to do exactly what they say was sent to Congress — tear it all up.

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Mr. on the floor of the house. Republican Rep. Matt Gates of Florida, who spoke out against McCarthy, portrayed him as someone who would do anything to cling to power. As a result, Mr. As McCarthy surrendered to the hard right, he proved their point, Mr. Gates suggested.

“The right person for the Speaker of the House is not someone who has sold his shares for more than a decade,” said Mr. Getz said, Mr. Criticized McCarthy. They have ruined this place and ruined this nation.

But mainstream Republicans were hopeful they could end the insurgency, pick a speaker and get down to business — the opening week of their party’s reign would be an anomaly, not the norm.

They said that if the party could finally choose a Speaker, it would be able to put the bitter fight behind them.

“My No. 1 priority is to get McCarthy,” said Representative Guy Reschenthaler, a Pennsylvania Republican and McCarthy ally. “He’s our best recruiter, best strategist. He is our best fundraiser. He took the seats in the last cycle and before that he took the seats in the cycle. We must get him a gift.”

Representative Mike Gallagher, Republican of Wisconsin, Mr. He said there would be no vendetta within the party if McCarthy won.

“If we can get to work, I think it will heal a lot of wounds,” he said.

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