USA: Republicans vote for McCarthy in 15th ballot – politics
After a power struggle within the party, Republican Kevin McCarthy is the new chairman of the US House of Representatives. The 57-year-old was elected to the powerful post in the 15th ballot on Saturday night, as was officially announced after the vote in the parliamentary chamber. McCarthy is the new number three in the state ranking after the US president and his vice president.
Previously there had been a dramatic showdown. When many were already expecting a breakthrough, the Republican failed again, in the 14th ballot McCarthy was only missing a single vote for victory. But his biggest opponents allowed him to appear in the plenary hall at the last minute, despite desperate attempts to negotiate.
In the meantime, there was a heated exchange between the two camps of supporters and opponents of McCarthy and almost fisticuffs, as could be seen on live video recordings. After that, one of McCarthy’s confidants initially requested that the session be adjourned again, this time until Monday. But at the last moment of this vote, when a majority was already in favor of an adjournment, the Republicans changed their mind – and their voting behavior – to avert an adjournment of the session after all. As long as a vote is still running, it is possible to change your own voting behavior.
“One more time” chanted Republicans
Shortly before, McCarthy had briefly spoken again in the plenary hall with one of his toughest opponents, MP Matt Gaetz, who abstained in the 14th ballot and thus sealed McCarthy’s renewed defeat. The Chamber of Congress then began another ballot. Republicans chanted: “One more time” – which finally brought the breakthrough.
The vote dragged on for four days. McCarthy had failed in so many elections because right-wing opponents refused to support him. They are supporters of former President Donald Trump, who, however, supports McCarthy.
The vote for the top job is among the longest in US history. Since the 19th century, the members of the House of Representatives no longer needed as many attempts to elect a new chairman as is currently the case. The last time there were more ballots was only in 1859/1860. At that time, Republican William Pennington was only elected chairman of the Chamber of Congress in the 44th ballot. The process took several weeks at the time.