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Kevin McCarthy does not get enough first-round votes to become the new speaker of the House of Representatives


It is the first time in 100 years that a candidate has not won the support of a majority of his own colleagues in the first round. The newly divided Congress took office this Tuesday and is expected to mark two challenging years for Joe Biden's legislative agenda.

Kevin McCarthy, the Republican representative for California who aspires to become the successor to Nancy Pelosi, did not get enough support from his party on Tuesday to win the position of the new speaker of the House of Representatives in the first round of voting.

The vote, in which

McCarthy did not reach the 218 support necessary to win the position

, was the first in the House of Representatives in the hands of the Republicans, who took office on Tuesday in a new divided Congress, whose Senate remains in Democratic hands.

Voting is still ongoing in the full House, but

McCarthy has already lost the support of 10 Republicans

, and could only afford five against him to get the job.

It was a historic vote, as it was

the first time in 100 years

that a candidate for president of the Lower House did not win the support of a majority of his own colleagues in the first round.


must vote again until a candidate reaches a majority of votes.



of the House of Representatives has a powerful position, since he is the official who is second in the line of presidential succession, if the president and vice president are incapacitated.

The 118th US Congress began this Tuesday with a new relationship of forces: while the Republicans wrested control of the House of Representatives from the Democrats on November 8, they maintain their majority in the Senate.

The division of powers is expected to hinder the legislative agenda of the Joe Biden Administration, which still has at least another two years in power.

As recent decades have shown, divided control of Congress often makes decision-making more complicated, especially in the midst of so much polarization and political acrimony.

This division will also be the backdrop for the 2024 presidential election.

[The great political battles facing the new divided Congress that takes office this Tuesday]

After the midterm elections, the Republicans won 222 seats in the House of Representatives, 9 more than their rivals, while the Democrats kept the Senate initially with 51 seats, although Senator Kyrsten Sinema left them in December to register as an independent. .

A historic Congress

The change in this new Congress will not only be political: there are a

record 149 women congressmen

(106 Democrats, 42 Republicans and one independent), 124 of them in the House of Representatives.

Women will hold 28.5% of the seats in that hemicycle and 25% of those in the Senate.

Its most illustrious congresswoman, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, until now president of the Lower House and who, after the defeat in the November elections, announced that month that she was leaving room for the new generations and that she only maintains her seat as representative for California.

The new Congress will be in session until January 2025, right at the end of President Joe Biden's term, which ends in 2024.

The turmoil in the House of Representatives on the first day of the new session contrasts with the other side of the Capitol, where Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell will officially become the party's longest-serving leader in the History of the Upper House.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy awaits the arrival of former President Donald Trump for a mixed martial arts fight at Madison Square Garden in New York, November 2, 2019. JOSHUA ROBERTS / REUTERS

Despite being outnumbered in the Senate, where Democrats hold a slim 51-49 majority, McConnell could be a viable partner for Biden in his quest for bipartisan victories in the new era of divided government.

The challenges of a divided Congress

One of the most daunting tasks of the new Congress will be

to raise the debt ceiling

in 2023 to make sure the United States can pay its bills and avoid bigger problems. 

On the other hand, the new relationship of political forces in Congress will make it more difficult to agree to avoid government shutdowns: the Republican-led chambers have caused shutdowns under the last two Democratic presidents.

The new Congress will have a record number of Hispanic members

Jan 3, 202301:47

House Republicans are also eager for the chance to investigate Biden and his administration on issues ranging from handling COVID-19 to southern border policies.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-01-03

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