Plan for interim solution for US House of Representatives failed

The chaos among the Republicans in the US House of Representatives continues – and with it the blockade of the congressional chamber. An interim solution sought by some MPs, which would have given acting chairman Patrick McHenry more powers until January, failed in the Republican caucus on Thursday.

“We have decided that this is not the path we will take,” said right-wing hardliner Jim Jordan, nominated for the position of speaker, after a parliamentary group meeting. “I am continuing to run for Speaker, and I plan to hold a floor vote to get the votes to win this race.” The next vote was scheduled for Friday morning (local time).

However, the ally of former US President Donald Trump failed in two rounds of elections on Tuesday and Wednesday due to resistance from his own ranks. He even lost support from his party between the two rounds.

Because the House of Representatives is largely paralyzed without a chairman and therefore cannot, among other things, decide on new aid for Israel, members of the House of Representatives had been working on an interim solution. According to media reports, Jordan agreed to suspend his candidacy for a few months.

At the same time, the acting chairman of the House of Representatives, the Republican McHenry, should be given expanded powers until January in order to be able to introduce legislative texts. This would have enabled the chamber to act again.

However, this plan now appears to have failed. US media such as the news channel CNN and the Washington Post had previously reported that Jordan supporters had spoken out against the interim solution. They therefore want Jordan not to pause his candidacy, but to continue seeking an immediate election.

Moderate Republicans, on the other hand, want Jordan to withdraw his candidacy entirely. The representative from the state of Ohio, known for his sharply right-wing positions and his aggressive political style, is also highly controversial within his own ranks. Numerous Republican representatives have confirmed that they want to vote against Jordan in another round of elections – or several rounds of voting.

The House of Representatives has been paralyzed for two and a half weeks: the previous Republican chairman, Kevin McCarthy, was deposed on October 3rd in the wake of a revolt by right-wing hardliners in his own party. Since then, the conservatives, who have a narrow majority in the House of Representatives, have been fighting over his successor.

The meeting of the Republican caucus on Thursday was apparently heated. McCarthy is said to have shouted at right-wing MP Matt Gaetz, who had submitted the motion to remove him.

The chaos among the Republicans has far-reaching consequences: without a chairman, the parliamentary chamber is paralyzed when it comes to legislation. This means, among other things, that Congress cannot decide on any further military aid for Israel, which has been attacked by the radical Islamic Palestinian organization Hamas, or Ukraine, which has been attacked by Russia. The USA is also threatened with a so-called shutdown in mid-November without a solution to the budget dispute.

US President Joe Biden announced during a visit to Israel on Wednesday that he would ask Congress for new aid for the country during the week. He wanted to give a speech on Thursday evening in the White House on the Middle East conflict and the Russian war against Ukraine. It was expected that Biden would ask Congress for 100 billion dollars (around 95 billion euros) for Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and the protection of the US border.