The election of the speaker of the US House of Representatives has not been completed despite the 11 rounds of voting held for three consecutive days. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has yet to be elected speaker, an unprecedented record for the United States. This has not happened since 1860.

According to the BBC news, 20 members of the Republican Party are voting against McCarthy in each of the 11 rounds of voting. That is why he is not getting the required majority to become the speaker. Earlier in 1860, the election of Speaker was completed after 44 rounds of voting. But then the issue of slavery was before the House. Nothing serious now. But McCarthy’s opponents in the Republican Party say they don’t trust McCarthy.

The impasse is mainly due to the right-wing Republicans. Republicans took over the House of Representatives in last November’s midterm elections, but gridlock prevented the chamber from swearing in members or passing bills. The session was adjourned till Friday.

A group of 20 hard-line Republican lawmakers are refusing to give McCarthy the 218 votes he needs. Rebels are skeptical of the California congressman’s conservative credentials, despite his support from former President Donald Trump.

One of the dissidents, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, told the BBC he simply did not believe McCarthy. McCarthy’s party has threatened political retaliation against them if they don’t toe the line. Due to which the situation is heading towards deadlock.

Norman said, we will be excluded from the committee. We are going to lose all our privileges. We basically told them, ‘If we can’t question, if we can’t vet the most powerful person we’re getting ready to put in office, then we’re beyond forgiveness.’

Analysts say, meanwhile, minority Democrats are voting in unison to elect their leader, Hakeem Jeffries of New York. He was the first black person to lead a party in Congress. But Jeffries doesn’t seem likely to win over six Republican defectors to become speaker.

Lawmakers in the sharply divided chamber will reconvene at noon local time on Friday. Today marks the second anniversary of the riots at the US Capitol by Trump supporters.

McCarthy has served as the top House Republican since 2019, a holdout. He won the support of more than 200 Republicans, more than 90 percent of his caucus.

Brian Fitzpatrick, Republican of Pennsylvania, said, ‘I’m very concerned about it and I’m on the Intelligence Committee. I and other committee members will not receive classified briefings until lawmakers are sworn in.

McCarthy offered many concessions to the rebels to bring the situation under control. This includes a seat on the influential Rules Committee, which sets the terms for debate on legislation in the chamber. He also agreed to lower the threshold for triggering a vote on whether to remove the speaker to just one House member.

He was seen chatting with colleagues and having animated one-on-one conversations with colleagues during Thursday’s eight-hour session.

The Speaker of the House is the second in office of the President after Vice-President Kamala Harris. They set the agenda in the House, and no legislative work can be conducted there without them. In November, Republicans won the House by a narrow margin of 222 to 212 votes in the 435-seat chamber. Democrats, on the other hand, retain control of the Senate.

(January 6)