US President Joe Biden has urged lawmakers of the Republican-led House of Representatives to “get their act together” to determine a new speaker and a way out of the current deadlock.
On Wednesday, Biden warned the messy battle to determine the House leader reflects poorly on the United States, just a day after lawmakers failed to elect a new speaker in their first attempt.
Republicans gained a majority in November's midterm elections for the House, but now a division among them has prevented the selection of the new speaker as some 20 conservative hardliners of the party oppose the candidacy of frontrunner Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who weathered three failed votes on Tuesday.
McCarthy's quest to become speaker of the US House of Representatives entered a second day on Wednesday, with the party's new majority fractured by a revolt among hardline members of his party who oppose his candidacy.
McCarthy, a Congressman from California, has served as the top House Republican since 2019.
"This is not a good look. It's not a good thing. This is the United States of America, and I hope they get their act together," said Biden, a Democrat, in remarks to reporters at the White House.
He said the delay in electing a speaker, the one who will replace Democrat Nancy Pelosi, could cause US allies and enemies to what he called doubt the recovery of American democracy from the turmoil that emerged on January 6, 2021, when supporters of then- President Donald Trump attacked the Capitol.
The post of House speaker is the second in the line of presidential succession.
"How do you think this looks to the rest of the world?" Biden asked. "We're finally coming out of - the first time we're getting through the whole issue relating to January 6."
Tuesday marked the first time in 100 years that the House failed to elect a speaker on its first day in session.
Separately on Wednesday, Trump, for his part, urged Republicans of the House to break the stalemate, supporting McCarthy's candidacy. "It's now time for all of our GREAT Republican House Members to VOTE FOR KEVIN," Trump wrote on his social media site Truth Social on Wednesday morning.
If elected, 57-year-old McCarthy would become second in the line of presidential succession after Vice President Kamala Harris.
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