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US House Lawmakers Prepare for Speaker Showdown After Ousting McCarthy

The chamber of the House of Representatives is seen at the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 28, 2022. InternationalIndiaAfricaWASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The US House of Representatives is preparing to begin the process of electing a new speaker on Wednesday, after the lower chamber of Congress ousted Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from the leadership role. Last week, eight House Republicans joined Democrats to pass a motion to vacate McCarthy as speaker. The motion to vacate was headed by US Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who opposed McCarthy’s handling of government spending negotiations. Gaetz opposed a short-term government funding deal backed by McCarthy, instead advocating for the passage of separate appropriations bills. Gaetz also alleged the California lawmaker included a secret deal on Ukraine aid as part of negotiations with the White House, although McCarthy denied the allegations. The House of Representatives is unable to conduct normal legislative business, such as passing government funding bills, until it elects a new speaker. House Republicans scheduled a forum for speaker candidates on Tuesday evening, where the conference will consider the bids of Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Jim Jordan (R-OH). Republicans hold a 221-212 majority in the House of Representatives; lawmakers can elect a speaker with a simple majority. McCarthy has ruled out a comeback, and has requested that fellow House Republicans not nominate him to serve as speaker, US media earlier reported, although contradicting reports have hinted the lawmaker isn’t entirely opposed to the possibility.

McCarthy was the first speaker in history to be removed from the role via motion to vacate. US Congressman Patrick McHenry is serving as speaker pro tempore until House lawmakers elect a new speaker.

Sputnik ExplainsWho Are the Contenders for House Speaker & What’s Their Stance on Ukraine Aid?5 October, 02:15 GMTSeveral lawmakers have also pitched the idea of nominating former US President Donald Trump as speaker, given that membership in the US Congress is not required to serve in the role. Trump told US media that he would be willing to temporarily serve as speaker to unify Republicans, but that his focus is on retaking the presidency. However, Trump has also expressed support for Jordan as a speaker candidate. House Republican conference rules may also disqualify Trump from serving in the leadership role due to pending felony charges against him. The House of Representatives is expected to begin votes on electing a new speaker on Wednesday. The US Congress has until November 17 to pass government funding measures, lest the federal government again risk a shutdown.

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