Republicans in Washington are facing a critical moment as they strive to elect a new speaker to end the internal strife within the party. This turmoil, which has captured national attention, threatens to send a message of dysfunction to the world, especially during times of global instability, like the ongoing conflict in Israel.
McCarthy Out, Chaos In
The recent ousting of Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican who served as the House speaker, by a faction of hard-right House Republicans has caused unprecedented disruption.
This move was driven by their dissatisfaction with McCarthy’s cooperation with Democrats to avert a government shutdown. McCarthy’s tenure as speaker had been brief, beginning in January and marked by a grueling 15 rounds of voting to secure his position.
Unite the Right
Mike McCaul, a Texas Republican congressman who chairs the House foreign affairs committee, has called upon his fellow party members to unite swiftly.
He emphasized the need to avoid paralyzing democracy, particularly when international tensions are running high. McCaul expressed concerns about the adverse message this internal discord sends to the rest of the world.
Effects Felt Overseas
McCaul, in an interview with CNN’s State of the Union show, stressed the urgency of rebooting the House leadership as, without a speaker, the House cannot pass legislation.
This impasse jeopardizes critical issues, such as passing a bipartisan resolution condemning Hamas militants’ attack on Israel and providing support for Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system. In McCaul’s view, this is not a time to play games with national security.
He also expressed hope that the situation in Israel would not escalate further or spread beyond its current scope, pointing out the potential for a larger jihadist conflict against Israel, a concern that keeps policymakers awake at night.
Contenders to the Speakership
Amid these challenging circumstances, McCaul believes that House Republicans are ready to unify behind a single speaker, putting an end to their internal discord.
The leading contenders to succeed McCarthy are Jim Jordan of Ohio and Steve Scalise of Louisiana, both of whom have garnered support from various quarters, including former President Donald Trump. Votes to determine the next speaker are anticipated on Wednesday.
McCaul emphasized that the decision to oust the previous speaker was not his idea, as he viewed it as dangerous, especially considering the many threats facing the nation. He questioned the message this sends to adversaries, highlighting the dysfunctional state of American governance.
This internal turmoil raises concerns about how leaders like China’s Xi Jinping and Iran’s Ayatollah perceive the effectiveness of democracy.
Outcries From Without and Within
Hakeem Jeffries, the House minority leader and a New York Democratic congressman, called on the GOP to put an end to their internal strife and focus on accomplishing legislative goals on Capitol Hill.
Meanwhile, Matt Gaetz, a Florida congressman who played a significant role in McCarthy’s removal, believes that a new speaker will be elected soon, rejuvenating House Republicans and getting them back on track.
He acknowledged the distressing situation in Israel but assured that it would not hinder the United States from assisting its ally.
Presidential Candidate Speaks Out
Even as the crisis in Israel unfolds, the actions taken by a small faction within the GOP to remove the House speaker have drawn criticism from prominent figures, including Chris Christie, a former New Jersey governor and a potential Republican presidential candidate for 2024.
Christie characterized this internal upheaval as “wholly irresponsible,” underscoring the need for stability and leadership within the party.
Disaster or Opportunity?
Online reactions have varied, with one Twitter user @Angry_Staffer saying “One of our closest allies is at war, and the House is still paralyzed because the GOP hasn’t even bothered to try electing a Speaker yet. Stop putting Republicans in power.”
However, others see this as a moment to further their own political ends, with Twitter user @NotAlexSheppard saying “PLEASE EXPLAIN: As we are on the brink of World War III, why would Republicans decide NOT to make Donald Trump Speaker of the House, which would give him power of the purse, and put him third in line to the Presidency?”
The post “Our Closest Ally Is at War and the House Is Paralyzed!” Crisis or Opportunity for GOP? first appeared on The Net Worth Of.
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