Republican Kevin McCarthy Emerges As New US House Speaker - 9japarrot

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Saturday, 7 January 2023

Republican Kevin McCarthy Emerges As New US House Speaker



Republican, Kevin McCarthy has emerged as the new speaker of the United States House of Representatives on Saturday.
 
According to AFP, McCarthy was always the frontrunner to lead the Republican-led House, but his victory in the small hours of the morning was almost derailed by a right-wing revolt in his party that extended the contest to a historic 15 rounds of voting.
 
The speaker wields huge influence in Washington by presiding over House business and is second in line to the presidency, after the vice president.
 
McCarthy had been hoping to secure the gavel in the 14th round before midnight Friday but suffered a shock defeat amid astonishing scenes of Republican infighting as he came up short by just one vote out of more than 400 cast.
 
As Matt Gaetz voted “present” to deny McCarthy the gavel, the disappointed Republican leader went over to talk to the Florida lawmaker-elect face-to-face.
 
Gaetz pointed a finger at McCarthy, who began retreating as Alabama’s Mike Rogers lunged at Gaetz and had to be held back with a restraining arm across his face.
 
The Republicans, who hold a razor-thin majority, had been mired in internecine warfare as McCarthy failed to win a majority in multiple ballots, with around 20 conservative hardliners blocking his path since Tuesday.
 
But the 57-year-old Californian was able to pick up more than a dozen votes among the defectors in two-afternoon voting rounds Friday after offering major concessions.
 
Emboldened, McCarthy predicted he would win in the 14th round — but suffered a humiliation given wall-to-wall coverage on US news channels before finally bagging his victory in the 15th.

“Just reminds me of what my father always told me,” McCarthy had told reporters. “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. And now we have to finish for the American public.”

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