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Republicans in turmoil as they fail to elect house speaker

Leader of Republican Party, Kevin McCarthy

The Republican Party, which won the majority of votes in the House of Representatives, has failed to elect a house speaker, something which had not happened for a century.

In November 2022 when the Republican Party won the majority of votes in the House of Representatives they vowed to go after the Democrats and President Joe Biden.

But now cracks have appeared within the Republican Party itself. In a historic incident, the GOP failed to nominate the house speaker.

Party Leader Kevin McCarthy, who got just 203 votes in two rounds, which is even less than democrat Hakeem Jeffries had achieved in the GOP controlled chamber, fared even worse in round three with just 202 votes.

Voting went to six rounds yet McCarthy could not gain the required votes, which is a tumultuous start to the new Congress, and presages a difficult road ahead with Republicans now in control of the House.

A new generation of conservative Republicans, many of whom are in line with Donald Trump's Make America Great Again agenda, want to up end the “business as usual” status quo in Washington, and are committed to stopping McCarthy's rise without concessions to their priorities.

It is widely believed that a revolt of ultra hardliners has dealt a humiliation to McCarthy.

Those of us who will not be voting for Kevin McCarthy today, take no joy in this discomfort that this moment has brought. But if you want to drain the swamp, you cannot put the biggest alligator in charge of the exercise.

Matt Gaetz, Republican Congressman

McCarthy became the first candidate to fall short in a first ballot for speaker in a century, he was meant to be their best.

This means that the Republicans are unable even to assume the control that they won in the midterms as a new house can't be sworn in until the Speaker is determined.

The standoff over McCarthy has been building since the Republicans appeared on track to win the house majority in the midterm elections in November.

A new generation of Trump aligned Republicans led the opposition to McCarthy believing that he's neither conservative enough nor tough enough to battle the Democrats.

And they even came to the position where one Matt Gaetz said I don't care if we go to plurality and we elect Hakeem Jeffries if it hurts the new frontline members not to get reelected.

Well, that's not about America, and I will always fight to put the American people first, not a few individuals that want something for themselves.

So we may have a battle on the floor but the battle is for the Congress and the country and that's fine with me.

Kevin McCarthy, Republican Party Leader

While the Senate remains in Democratic hands, House Republicans are eager to confront Biden after two years of the Democrats controlling both houses of Congress, but disagreements over choosing the house speaker is an ominous sign for the party and its conservative agenda.

Even if McCarthy succeeds in becoming the speaker, he will be a weak figure who may be in office but barely in power.

The war which started with the Tea Party backlash to the Obama administration is far from over.

We will compromise but we will not capitulate. And there's a very serious difference. There's 222 Republicans at our conference now, so if 20 people are able to drive this train however they want to, 202 of us might as well go home, because that means they are the conference.

That means they those 20 people will be the majority.

Well, that is capitulation and we will not do that. Compromise, yes.

Derrick Van Orden, Republican Congressman

The failure to support McCarthy is over the direction of the GOP between swing district moderates and conservatives who have taken up the populist agenda of the former President, Donald Trump.

It is now believed that the chaos highlights the dilemma facing House Republicans

You have 20 people demanding that 201 surrender to them unconditionally. Well, I will not surrender unconditionally.

If you have conditions, give them to us. We'll consider them, doesn't mean we'll do them, but you have to talk about them.

We've asked and we've asked, what is it you want? What do you need? But you have 20 people demanding the unconditional surrender of, including this group of warriors, we will not unconditionally surrender.

Tell us what you want. We might surrender if you tell us the terms.

Trent Kelly, Republican Congressman

Analysts say no matter what concessions are made, some of those on the far right simply will not relent and join other Republicans.

The crisis is even more poignant as the party is set to brace for the presidential election in 2024.

It now appears that the fractures Trump created within the Republican Party are deeper than ever before.

With Trump still desperate to be elected president, it is unlikely the GOP will be able to unite behind another leader and change its electoral fortunes in the foreseeable future.

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