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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Gustaf Kilander

GOP rep calls speaker race ‘one of the most embarrassing things I’ve seen’


The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep Michael McCaul of Texas, has said that the debacle that is the race to replace ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy is “probably one of the most embarrassing things I’ve seen”.

Appearing on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Mr McCaul said: “Because if we don’t have a speaker of the House, we can’t govern. And every day goes by, we’re essentially shut down as a government.”

The House has now been without a speaker for nearly three weeks, and Mr McCaul noted that there are many crises, such as the conflict between Israel and Hamas, that the chamber is unable to address.

“We have very important issues right now with war and peace, and we cannot deal with an aid package or my resolution condemning Hamas and supporting Israel,” Mr McCaul told ABC. “We can’t even pass a resolution condemning Hamas.”

Mr McCaul declined to endorse any of the nine candidates, simply saying that the chamber needs “a speaker in the chair”.

“It’s too dangerous right now. The world’s on fire. This is so dangerous, what we’re doing,” he said. “And more importantly, it’s embarrassing because it empowers and emboldens our adversaries like Chairman Xi who says ‘you know, democracy doesn’t work’.”

Both of the GOP nominees for speaker, Reps Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan, have failed to get to the 217 votes needed to take the gavel.

Responding to whether Republicans need support from the Democrats to open the House back up, Mr McCaul said: “This was discussed ... if you can’t get to 217 within our conference – how do you get there? But I think for some, they see that as very dangerous as well.”

“I’d rather it be the Republicans nominating and voting on the floor for a Republican Speaker but this can’t go on forever. I don’t know if we’re going to have a Speaker next week, I don’t know how this plays out,” he added.

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