No speaker for the House of Representatives

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(From the United States House of Representatives )

In national news – Congress is now on day 3 of voting for a new Speaker – with this bearing a similarity to Guam’s recent situation within our own legislature.

With the House of Representatives failing to vote for a Speaker – operations are currently in limbo.

For the first time in 100 years, a speaker was not elected on the first ballot, and with six failed votes to decide on a speaker over Tuesday and Wednesday, a new set of house rules cannot be adopted along with members-elect not being sworn into office, one being delegate-elect James Moylan.

Jay O’Brien, an ABC News Journalist says, “In a new congress, you can’t do anything before you elect a speaker of the house. You can’t put the rules together, so right now there are technically no rules on the house floor. You can’t set up committees, you can’t pass legislation and there’s a lot of day-one pieces of legislation specifically the republicans wanted to pass as soon as they took power.”

According to ABC News, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has been hindered by a small group of hardliners demanding concessions or alternative candidates

McCarthy has so far been blocked from the position of speaker by 20 members of his party repeatedly voting for other candidates for the past 2 days and counting.

Furthermore, under House rules, a candidate needs an outright majority of all members voting to be elected, with votes being currently at 216-214, and as ABCNEWS previously reported that the rules, can be changed: With a simple majority vote, the House could decide to allow a speaker to be elected with a plurality, or whoever has the most votes when no one has a majority, which has happened before, but very rarely.

Kevin McCarthy, Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives says, “Last night I was presented the only way to have 218 votes, if I provided certain members with certain positions and certain gavels to go to the church committee to have certain budgets.” McMarthy continues, “They even came to the position where one Matt Gates said “I don’t care if we go into plurality and we elect Hakeem Jeffries, that it hurts the new frontline members not to get re-elected, well that’s not about America, and I will always fight to put the American people first not a few individuals that want something for themselves.”

Despite the halt in the house of representatives, Delegate-Elect James Moylan, is preparing to introduce similar legislation – which is HR 6819 – which is what former Guam Delegate Michael San Nicolas introduced in the 117th Congress.

According to a press release, the measure would waive matching requirements on those federal grants that Guam and other communities obtain. Congressman Ed Case of Hawaii who he has been in discussions has agreed to co-sponsor the bill.

Additionally, although Republicans had pushed for the adjournment, while Democrats and four Republicans opposed it, another vote is set to take place Thursday at noon.


Contact Althea Engman | E-mail: althea@spbguam.com | Phone: 671-477-0790

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Althea Engman or as she is referred to as Thea joined the PNC team in August of 2021 as their youngest reporter and after a few months she was given the opportunity to be their weather girl. She currently attends the University of Guam while working at Sorenson. Her hobbies include dancing, creating content for social media, as well modeling on the side, she also is a big dog lover. Before working for PNC, she didn’t think about pursuing a career in journalism or a related field but it has helped her figure out a better career path. She covers a wide variety of news beats with a focus on legislation and lifestyle.