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Saturday February 24, 2024

US political crisis intensifies as McCarthy fails to woo right

By AFP
January 06, 2023

WASHINGTON: The US House of Representatives was plunged deeper into crisis on Thursday as Republican favourite Kevin McCarthy failed again to win the speakership -- entrenching a three-day standoff that has paralyzed the lower chamber of Congress.

McCarthy, a favourite of the Republican establishment but a bete noire of the far right, made sweeping concessions overnight to quell a rebellion of around 20 hardliners in his own camp blocking his bid to be the country´s top lawmaker.

But his overtures appeared to have fallen on deaf ears as he failed to win over a single opponent in Thursday´s opening vote, the seventh since the chamber opened for a new term under a thin Republican majority.

The 57-year-old Californian had already been humiliated by failure to secure the gavel across six voting rounds during a chaotic, rollercoaster 48 hours, falling behind each time to his Democratic counterpart Hakeem Jeffries -- though neither was able to win the required majority.

“It´s my hope that today the House Republicans will stop the bickering, stop the backbiting and stop the backstabbing so we can have the backs of the American people,” Jeffries told reporters at the US Capitol.