After votes on the House floor, Congressional Republicans could not reach a consensus on electing a Speaker of the House. Chaos erupted after support for Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan (R) began to gain traction.
California Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R), the frontrunner for the role, is now allegedly occupying the Speaker’s office. Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz (R), who opposes McCarthy for Speaker, has now issued a press release, questioning why McCarthy has taken over the office.
For the next Speaker of the House to be elected, the person must receive 218 votes. With Republicans in the majority, McCarthy can only spare 4 votes, and after 3 failed attempts to assume the position, all eyes have been on Republicans as infighting proves McCarthy’s journey to the position will be more difficult than he initially expected it to be.
Rep. Gaetz, who nominated Jordan for the Speaker role, has now directed a letter to J. Brett Blanton, the 12th architect of the Capitol after reports indicated that McCarthy had already moved into the Office of the Speaker.
“As of this morning, the 117th Congress adjourned sine die, and a Speaker from the 118th Congress has not been elected,” Gaetz wrote, reminding that “after three undeciding votes, no member can lay claim to this office.”
Gaetz further questioned, “what is the basis in law, House rule, or precedent to allow someone who has placed second in three successive speaker elections to occupy the Speaker of the House Office?”
Requesting a swift response, Gaetz also asked “how long will he remain there before he is considered a squatter?”
The tension has received media scrutiny with political pundits arguing that the infighting is not a good look for Republicans. However, GOP members that oppose McCarthy argue that this is the right move because McCarthy represents the status quo.