NJ Congressman Says It’s Time To Choose House Speaker
United States Congressman Jeff Van Drew, R-NJ-2 is on the job very early today, Wednesday, January 4, 2023.
The stakes couldn’t be higher.
Eariy in the 4:00 a.m. hour, Van Drew appeared on the Fox & Friends First national program to offer his sobering assessment of yesterday’s 3 unsuccessful rounds of voting to select the next United States Speaker of The House of Representatives.
Until a Speaker is selected, all 434 House Members are members-elect. They can’t even be sworn into office.
There is currently one House vacancy with the death of Virginia Congressman Donald McEachin, who died on November 29, 2022.
Yesterday, The members-elect held 3 separate votes to choose the Speaker. Republicans hold 222 seats and Democrats hold 212 seats.
You need 218 votes to win the Speaker’s gavel.
In the first 2 rounds of voting it was 212 votes for Democrat Hakeem Jeffries, 203 for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and 19 for others.
On the 3rd ballot, McCarthy actually lost 1 vote, with Jeffries receiving 212 and Congressman-elect Jim Jordan receiving 20.
Jordan nominated McCarthy and is not looking to become Speaker. Jordan wants to be the Chairman of The House Judiciary Committee.
Van Drew made it perfectly clear during this morning’s live interview (Fox News Channel) that Jordan does not want to be Speaker and that the 20 members voting for him to be Speaker should “knock it off and stop voting for him,” said Van Drew.
Van Drew emphasized that this protracted exercise must end, “we must select our Speaker and do the work that the American people elected us to do,” said Van Drew.
Democrats have been openly celebrating the Republican dysfunctionality. The optics are bad for Republicans, who look as if they can’t get their own “house” in order.
At 12 noon today, they will conduct the 4th ballot to select the next Speaker of The House.
Something like this hasn’t occurred since 1923, when it took 9 ballots to choose a Speaker.
If you think that’s a long time, in 1856, it took 133 rounds of voting before selecting the speaker, Nathaniel Banks. Banks was an anti-slavery member of Congress slavery loom large in 1856. Banks won the speakership by a vote of 103 to 100 over South Carolina congressman William Aiken.
A Speaker contest has only gone to a second ballot 14 times in all of American history (246 years).
The House cannot conduct any other business until they select a Speaker.
Important things like voting on a House rules package are presently in limbo.
Thus far, none of 20 (Florida’s Byron Donald’s joined in on the 3rd ballot) appear ready to compromise.
McCarthy remains the only choice right now for Republicans. The 20 votes for Jordan at this point are basically symbolic, as he does not want the position of Speaker.
McCarthy reminded everyone yesterday that he holds the record for delivering the longest speech on the floor of the house of representatives… And, that he doesn’t mind setting the record for the longest election for speaker.
On October 27, 1964, Ronald Reagan delivered a memorable speech titled “A Time for Choosing.” It catapulted, Reagan to national prominence and set the stage for his 1980 election as President of The United States.
This is also a time for choosing.
We currently face a critical tipping point in American history. We are contending with runaway inflation and many other economic challenges. Most economic experts believe that a recession looms for the American economy in 2023.
The political games that are being played right now are not being received well by the American people.
What we need at this time are more statesmen like Van Drew.
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