As the Republican Party continues to struggle with internal divisions, the latest quarrel has been in the race for the House Speaker. After months of deadlock, the race has come down to two candidates: Kevin McCarthy and Jim Jordan.
Unfortunately, with the voting split roughly down the middle with each receiving 117 votes, neither is able to win outright. This has left the House Republican Caucus gridlocked with no clear path towards consensus.
The fight for the speaker position started after the surprising announcement earlier this month that the current speaker, Paul Ryan, will be retiring at the end of his current term. McCarthy, the House Majority Leader and a Ryan ally, quickly jumped into the race to replace him. Jordan, a well-known conservative firebrand, joined the fray in order to challenge Ryan’s legacy and further the divide between moderates and conservatives in the party.
This latest vote confirms the growing schism between the two major blocs of the Republican Party. While Jordan received the support of his more conservative peers, McCarthy gained endorsements from several moderate and centrist Republicans. Both men are still competing for the House Speaker, and a majority of 218 votes is needed in order to win.
The Republican Party’s lack of unity is certainly unbecoming for a party that currently holds a majority in Congress and aims to hold President Trump’s agenda without resistance. Still, the problem appears to be much larger than a single vote for House Speaker. Intra-party division represents an even bigger issue for the Republicans, as their members struggle to come together to pass any legislation and further the President’s agenda.
It is unclear what the future holds for the Republican Party and its speaker race. For now, neither McCarthy nor Jordan have the votes to be declared the winner. As the party continues to struggle with fractures both internally and externally, it remains to be seen how the House Republicans will move forward with their leadership.