Kevin McCarthy Becomes New U.S. Speaker of the House


Photo by Owen Davis

On Jan. 7, 2023, in Washington D.C. Republican Kevin McCarthy was voted into the position of Speaker of the House after 15 consecutive rounds of voting. The Speaker of the House is the third most powerful position in the U.S. government after the President and Vice President; they are the ones to set the agenda for what is voted on in the House of Representatives. For a speaker of the House to be elected, 218 out of 435 votes are needed.

Since the Speaker sets the precedent for what is to be voted on, they make agreements with groups within their party to set the agenda for certain debates in return for votes. This is precisely the reason it took 15 tries to get McCarthy voted in. He refused to talk about a plan to create a special Judiciary subcommittee filled with a panel of investigators who would essentially have open-ended power to scrutinize issues related to civil liberties. This subcommittee would be led by Republican Jim Jordan who wants to use this committee to go after the Biden administration. 

The reason why McCarthy didn’t immediately agree with this subcommittee was that it would hold so much power that it could investigate further into former President Trump as well as the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. McCarthy and Jordan are both in support of Trump and do not wish for this committee to be used against them. So the agreement that was made was that the panel would be composed of 13 government officials, eight of which are Republican.  

Multiple Republican Representatives do not agree with the image that Donald Trump stands for and this can be seen as they ignore Trump’s plea to support McCarthy.  Multiple times throughout history, parties have split apart and been reborn under a new name years later. The United States is built on the idea of two parties so every time one breaks apart, a new one has to be reborn. As the MAGA supporters clash with the growing Republicans in support of older Republican ideals, it is not clear what lies in the future for the Republican party.