Intentionally Uncompromising

The U.S. Congress still has no speaker. There are reasons within the party for the Republicans’ irresponsibility.

The undignified spectacle surrounding the top position in the House of Representatives is entering its third week; there is no end in sight.* After a small group of Republicans removed the previous speaker, Kevin McCarthy, a majority in the party first nominated Steve Scalise as a candidate, who in turn failed to win a majority in the first round of voting and dropped out.

Following that, a somewhat different majority voted for Trump-endorsed Jim Jordan; he had had enough after three fruitless rounds of voting. Now, nine other candidates are attempting to gain the support of the Republican caucus. You don’t have to be all that deeply immersed in the subject matter to realize that this will take a while.

The public can barely comprehend who among the Republican caucus is really fighting whom and why. “Trump supporters,” “moderates,” “ultraconservatives” — these attributions don’t explain anything at all because there are people they apply to on all sides of this disastrous party. On the one hand, what brings together the ever-changing minority coalitions of naysayers is personal animosity toward each candidate. On the other hand, there is the not unfounded assumption that an unwillingness to compromise to the point of complete irresponsibility will improve one’s own standing and thus chances of reelection.

The idea that Congress is a legislative organ that, not least of all, has to pass a budget seems very foreign to these people. There is not even a month until the United States faces the next budget deadlock, far too little time to prepare a viable spending bill even if there were a new speaker this week.

And so, in the middle of November, the United States will either save itself with another temporary budget, the approval of which with Democratic support cost McCarthy his office, or it will enter a shutdown. Ukraine, the Middle East, China? Oh my!

*Editor’s Note: On Oct. 25, the House of Representatives finally elected Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana as new speaker, the fourth nominee for the speakership.

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About Michael Stehle 102 Articles
I am a graduate of the University of Maryland with a BA in Linguistics and Germanic Studies. I have a love for language and I find translation to be both an engaging activity as well as an important process for connecting the world.

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