As we reported last week, former Speaker of the House and Republican Representative from California’s 20th District Kevin McCarthy was voted out of office by 8 hard-right Republicans and all 208 Democratic House members, accused of working too closely across the aisle with Democrats to avert a government shutdown. However, as the party and the entire House looks towards the next chapter, several Republican contenders have shared their interest in becoming speaker, namely the high-ranking Republican Representative from Louisiana’s 1st District Steve Scalise. Originally, serving as the House Minority Whip from 2019 to 2023, the number-two Republican in the House was chosen by his party as their leader in the lower chamber of Congress, becoming the House Majority Leader. However, things took a wild turn when, on Thursday night, he announced that he was no longer interested in becoming Speaker.
After being narrowly nominated for speaker on Wednesday during a non-official vote among House Republicans, Rep. Scalise wasn’t able to get the 217 votes necessary to be elected because many supporters of his challenger, Rep. Jim Jordan from Ohio’s 4th District who serves as the current chairman of the Judiciary Committee and was endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump, refused to switch their vote. This chaos was described in a Washington Post Opinion article as an “eternal truth, one unwavering constant to steady us when all else is in flux: Every time the House Republican majority tries to govern, it’s guaranteed to turn into a goat rodeo.”
As the House continues to be in paralyzed state for the time being, at a time of both domestic and international issues, Rep. Scalise said he would step aside and allow a different Republican to unite the fractured party. “I just shared with my colleagues that I was withdrawing my name as a candidate for speaker-designee,” Rep. Scalise said. “If you look at where our conference is, there’s still work to be done. Our conference still has to come together, and it’s not there. There are still some people that have their own agendas.”
On Friday, House Republicans (in disarray) nominated the second-most popular candidate after Rep. Scalise, Rep. Jim Jordan from Ohio’s 4th District, the current chairman of the Judiciary Committee, for the speakership, but quickly postponed a vote to elect him after the GOP held a vote to see how many members would support him. “The results were discouraging,” the New York Times writes. 152 said they would vote for him, while 55 said they would oppose him, which is far away from the 217 votes needed to become speaker. This vote further “underscored the deep divisions among Republicans,” the New York Times continues, “and how far they have strayed from congressional tradition, which normally dictates that once an internal party contest ends, members rally behind the victor.”
Jordan, a co-founder of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus and a close ally of former President Donald Trump, hopes to convince enough members of his own party to vote for him once the session starts back up, but with GOP lawmakers seemingly unable to reach consensus, it remains unclear who will be the next speaker. These divides, fueled by partisan anger and polarized animosity, only results in the degradation of the people of America – those who we voted into office through the process of democracy which we hold so close to our nation’s beating heart have shown us that they are unable to truly represent our ideas, beliefs, and concerns.
As former President George Washington warned to the future generations of Americans in his farewell address, “The alternate domination of one faction [party] over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.” Washington understood, from our great nation’s early ages, that the greatest threat to American society is our own political system and the separation of political ideologies into parties. Partisan divides have created and fueled the United States of America for the past centuries, but could also be the end of it.
Hello! My name is Krishna Mano and I am a sophomore at City High School. This is my fourth year writing for The City Voice and second year as an editor. Apart from the newspaper, I am part of the Speech and Debate team, President of the 10th Grade Student Council, and Treasurer of the NHS. Outside of school, I enjoy playing the violin, reading, skiing, and paddleboarding. If you have any questions about my articles, please contact me at email@example.com.