(Central Square) – After four days and 11 failed attempts to elect House Speaker Thursday, many political pundits demanded that approximately 20 Republican members relent and elect U.S. Congressman Kevin McCarthy, D-Cal., as Speaker of the House. , arguing that failure to do so creates a “crisis”.
But according to historical records, this is the 15th time multiple votes have been required to elect a speaker.
“The longest and most contentious election for a Speaker in the history of the House of Representatives,” according to the Office of the Historian of the House of Representatives, took place in the 34th Congress (1855–1857).
While members of the House Freedom Caucus push for demands demanding border security, an end to illegal immigration, and modern-day human trafficking slavery facilitated by Mexican cartels and enforced by Biden administration policies, as Freedom Caucus member Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas , it has been argued that the 1855 conflict was also centered around slavery and immigration.
However, unlike today’s vote, in December 1855 over 21 members ran for Speaker. February 2, 1856
Banks defeated U.S. Rep. William Aiken, Ph.D., by a vote of 103 to 100. He would serve as speaker for two years, retire, and become the next governor of Massachusetts.
A headline in the New-York Tribune on February 4, 1856, said it was “the end of the great controversy” and “the triumph of the Republicans”.
Since 1789, the House of Representatives has elected a speaker 127 times, according to the Office of the Historian of the House of Representatives. “In the modern era, the speaker is elected at the beginning of a new Congress by a majority of representatives chosen from candidates separately chosen by the majority and minority party caucus. In the event of an unexpected vacancy during Congress, the new Speaker shall be elected by a majority of the House from candidates previously elected by the majority and minority parties.”
From 1793 to 1925, from the 3rd to the 68th congress, there were 14 cases where multiple ballots were required to elect a speaker, notes the Historian’s Office. Among these, 13 occurred before the Civil War, “when party divisions were more vague.”
“The last time the election of a speaker required two or more votes in the hall was in 1923,” the report said. It also notes that the House of Representatives “filled speaker vacancies three times by resolution.”
In 1923, members voted nine times before finally electing a speaker. According to the Congressional Research Service, several members at the time refused to vote for either the Democratic or Republican candidates, but agreed to vote “after the Republican leadership agreed to enact a series of procedural reforms advocated by those members.”
But almost 100 years later, several members of the Freedom Caucus said they would never vote for McCarthy. Roy said that he and the others would not budge if McCarthy did not comply with their demands, which Roy said included: “Reinstate Article I, Legislature; Stop spending money we don’t have; Cancel executive excess of authority; stop relying on judicial policy; Defund Woke, entrenched bureaucrats; Empowerment of states, agree to disagree; “The Republic, if you can keep it.”
Roy said it was important for the House of Representatives to discuss who would be the next speaker. Not voting for McCarthy “was not personal” and “decided the future of the country.”
“Americans are wondering why we can accept $1.7 trillion in unpaid bills,” he said in a speech on Tuesday. McCarthy and establishment Republicans are voting for Democratic Party bills that “simply allocate $45 billion for Ukraine and don’t pay for it,” he said, including “language in the bill that makes it impossible for us to secure the border.”
Referring to the omnibus that Congress passed without discussion or time to review its more than 4,000 pages, Roy said that it “was rammed and we know exactly how it is trampled. … The rules committee is sending the bill to the floor and we have no debate … We have not been able to propose an amendment in the boardroom of this body since May 2016.”
“This place needs to change,” Roy said. “And change comes either through the adoption of rules and procedures that will force us to actually do our job. Or it comes from management.
“I need tools or I want leadership to keep the swamp from flooding the average American every single day.”
His speeches were interrupted by cheers and applause.
Matt Rinaldi, chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, expressed support and respect for Roy and two other Texans who joined him, Michael Cloud and Keith Self.
Kevin Roberts, formerly head of the Texas Public Policy Foundation and now head of the Heritage Foundation, said: “The Washington establishment hates today’s House hearings because it is violations like this that threaten their power.
“We need more of this if we are to restore normal order in Congress – and self-government.”