The US House of Representatives is preparing to vote without a clear solution to the Republican crisis | International

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Jim Jordan addresses the press, Friday, October 13, at the Capitol.ELIZABETH FRANTZ (REUTERS)

With two weeks of historic power vacuum approaching, the House of Representatives plans to vote this Tuesday to replace its president, speaker Kevin McCarthy, evicted by a motion of no confidence promoted by Matt Gaetz, one of his own. At this point, the call does not guarantee a way out of the unprecedented institutional crisis. The candidate chosen by the Republican Party, with a slim majority in the lower house, is Jim Jordan, a Trumpist from Ohio, whose profile, located on the extreme right of the party, will not make it easy for him to get the support he needs: 217 if it is.

Jordan was chosen by his team on the second try. In a first vote, they preferred Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise over him. He ended up throwing in the towel on Thursday night, when it became clear to him that he would not be able to gather enough will to elect him in the plenary session, in which the Democrats plan to vote against, whoever he is the candidate. . Jordan then faced a last-minute contender: Austin Scott (Georgia). He did win with him in a secret vote held on Friday, which produced a result in his favor of 124 against 81. It was later learned that 152 co-religionists would support him when the time came for the vote in the House.

Since then, Jordan has worked tirelessly to obtain the 65 supports he needs, and along the way he has managed to convince some of those who had announced that they opposed his candidacy. The party's idea until now had been not to force a vote in plenary if they were not clear about victory. The intention was to avoid the embarrassment that the conservatives suffered last January, when it took 15 votes before McCarthy ended up wielding the gavel. speaker. In exchange, he had to make a series of commitments with the hardest wing, including accepting that a single representative could promote a motion to fire him. Nine months later, it turned out to be Gaetz, one of the wayward ones, who took the step, in protest of the fact that McCarthy agreed with the Democrats on a 45-day extension to find a way out of the imminent partial suspension of funding for the administration. He had the help of seven Republican congressmen and 208 Democrats.

Military assistance to Israel

The deadline for the closure of the Government, set for November 17, is getting closer and closer and legislators have already lost two precious weeks to advance the pacts to avoid it. The situation of legislative paralysis is also preventing military assistance measures from being taken to Israel in the war between it and Hamas. Aid to Ukraine is also frozen.

This Monday, Jordan wrote a letter to his fellow soldiers in which he told them: “The role of speaker is to unite all Republicans. That's what I intend to do." In it, he also made reference to the “five families,” which is how the main ideological groups into which the party is divided in the House of Representatives are known. In 2015, the candidate was involved in the founding of one of them: the Freedom Caucus, which represents the ultra-conservative group. Jordan is the most Trumpist option.

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The final report of the bipartisan committee that investigated the attack on the Capitol for 18 months concluded that the Ohio congressman decisively helped Donald Trump's attempts to reverse the November 2020 election result. Almost three years later, the former president, who He faces two trials for those events, he still maintains without evidence that Joe Biden robbed him at the polls.

The vice president of that commission, Republican Liz Cheney, congresswoman from Wyoming until last November's elections, has been heard these days in Washington as a possible consensus candidate to unblock the leadership crisis if Jordan fails to move forward: she would have, according to those who They support that somewhat voluntaristic theory, the support of the Democrats, so only a handful of moderate Republicans would have to be convinced. The representatives of the most disputed counties - those who sometimes vote for one party and other times the opposite - do not benefit from the figure of a speaker radical, which polarizes the electorate with a view to next year's election, in which the 435 seats in the lower house are renewed.

Some Republicans have been talking since Friday about the possibility of a centrist alliance. “Bipartisanship is not a sin,” Florida Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar said that day. And Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (New York) admitted Sunday that “informal discussions” were taking place between members of both sides to see a way out of the impasse that has plunged the Capitol into chaos.

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Nathan Rivera
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