BY YASHWANT RAJ
Washington– Republican lawmakers re-elected Kevin McCarthy as their leader, moving him one step closer to speakership of the US House of Representatives, a position that will make him second in line to succeed the president after the vice-president.
McCarthy was elected in a closed-door voting, beating Representative Andy Biggs, a leading member of the Republican party’s Freedom Caucus, a group of ultra-conservatives.
McCarthy will be officially elected speaker in a vote on the floor of the House on January 3. He will need 218 votes in the 435-member chamber to make it through. The Republicans are still one vote shy of the majority number – they were at 217 to 204 of the Democrats, with 14 seats still undecided.
Republicans will get the House with a razor-thin majority, while Democrats will keep the Senate, which is a result few people could have anticipated on November 3, when polling ended for the 2022 US midterms.
Republicans were expected to win both chambers, especially the House and with a huge majority in keeping with history. The party in control of the White House has always lost the first midterm of the incumbent president’s first term, and by huge numbers. In 2010, President Barack Obama’s first midterm, Democrats lost the House by 63 seats; and in 2018, President Donald Trump’s first midterm, the Republicans lost the House by 41 seats.
McCarthy will be the next speaker in all likelihood, especially if he continues to be in the good graces of former President Trump. But he will be looking over his shoulders all the time. (IANS)