During the failed attempt to elect a Republican Speaker of the U.S. House for the second time, Florida Representative Kat Cammack appealed to her conservative colleagues, asking if they were the “party of Reagan Republicans” and urging them to unite in the selection of a Speaker now that they have a narrow majority in the chamber.
However, it was Republicans aligned with President Donald Trump who had the control and was able to obstruct the selection of a Speaker for a second day, halting the operation of the House of Representatives.
The inability to elect a Speaker in the U.S. House, which has caused much stress and prompted a U.S. Navy chaplain to pray for deliverance “from intransigence and impudence,” is a reflection of the populist right’s politics and a preview of the turmoil it is prepared to bring to Congress as Republicans take on a new role of power. By Wednesday evening, after six unsuccessful votes to select a Speaker, the House was once again adjourned in a state of uncertainty.
Most Republicans support California Representative Kevin McCarthy, who was previously the House minority leader, but his bid has been opposed by a group of 20 Republicans, most of whom were elected as anti-establishment Make America Great Again candidates and are now determined to bring their brand of populism into Congress by disrupting the way it operates.
Despite former President Trump’s efforts, he has been unable to convince the group of Republicans to change their stance. In a social media post on Wednesday, Trump encouraged “all of our GREAT Republican House Members to VOTE FOR KEVIN.” However, hours later, Colorado Republican and strong Trump supporter Lauren Boebert rejected Trump’s call from the House floor, saying that he should instead tell McCarthy “that, ‘sir, you do not have the votes and it’s time to withdraw.'” According to Morris Fiorina, a political scientist at Stanford University, Trump has “set in motion forces he can’t control anymore,” and “he can’t put the genie back in the lamp.”