2023 House Speaker Election
Let’s get provocative!! What would a coalition House look like and how might it work?
Per government rules, a Speaker of the House must be elected with a majority of votes from congresspeople, and in 2023, if all members of the House were present and did not vote present, the number of votes needed was 218.
The House elected a Speaker in January 2023 with Republicans having 222 seats and the vast majority wanted Representative Kevin McCarthy to be Speaker. They got their wish but it wasn’t pretty. The process exposed the split within the Party and reminded everybody of the contentiousness that grew from the 2020 Presidential election but had been brewing for at least 10 years. A 20 member House caucus of which 18 were Republican 2020 election deniers refused to vote for McCarthy, causing the election to repeat multiple times for the first time in over a century.
McCarthy was a steady defender of former president Donald Trump for most of his time as majority leader and minority leader. After Biden won the 2020 presidential election, McCarthy supported Trump’s false denial of Biden’s victory and participated in efforts to overturn the results, and while he condemned the January 6 United States Capitol attack in its immediate aftermath, blaming Trump for the riot and saying the 2020 election was legitimate, he later walked back those comments and reconcile with Trump.
Often there needs to be a problem before change can wiggle into existence and we witnessed a problem that may have multiple solutions but for now I am talking about a coalition solution.
It took 15 rounds before McCarthy was elected. McCarthy’s concessions to the GOP dissidents were significant and could ultimately cut his tenure as speaker short. McCarthy agreed to restore a rule allowing a single Republican member to call for a vote to depose him as speaker, the same rule that led to John Boehner’s decision to resign as speaker in 2015.
And, sure enough, as soon as McCarthy allowed a vote to keep government open, he was ousted. It took 22 days to elect another Speaker. On October 25, 2023, Congressman Mike Johnson of Louisiana was elected as the Speaker of the House. Rep. Mike Johnson, played a key role in efforts by then-President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn Joe Biden’s electoral victory in the 2020 election.
The 20 House members throwing a roadblock to the election of a House Speaker were part of the Freedom Caucus formally known as Tea Baggers/Tea Party. They have a history. It was the Tea Baggers that would attend Democrats’ “meet your congressman” meetings after President Obama was first elected and shouted down the speakers.
There is little that the House can accomplish with the Senate and Presidency held by the Democratic party. Therefore the House and Republicans will have to settle for multiple partisan investigations or compromises.
The Speaker and moderate Republicans will most likely need Democrats votes to overcome the group of 20 who have shown disdain with government spending and raising the debt ceiling. Most Republicans want vigorous border control and while most Democrats also want that, they also want to address paths to citizenship and have their own group of 20 (for lack of a better name). That said, the Senate has passed bipartisan funding to address the border leaving the House trying to get votes to approve it.
Both Parties have what some insist upon calling wingnuts that make compromise difficult and depending on who gets the political gain from non compromise, that Party will resist. Unfortunately, some people will think of the whole other Party as wingnuts. That is not a good way to find compatibility.
A coalition controlled House would need a new Speaker. Why? To start fresh and marginalize each Party’s hard liners. Polls show that many issues enjoy a consensus of Americans from both Parties. The biggest wedge driving the House apart and preventing compromise is the threat, mostly by Republicans, of being primaried if they go against ex-President Trumps wishes.
The House is in turmoil. The most recent reason is the alternate facts regarding the 2020 Presidential election and resulting unwillingness to accept its results like has been done for all previous elections, a total of 58 of the 59 elections.
Yes, due to the COVID Pandemic, four states made minor changes to voting procedures to help voters vote safely. Those changes did not make it harder for anybody to vote nor did they favor one Party over another. Rigged voting machines, rigged software, double counts, missed counts, fraudulent votes were proven to not be involved.
Here is what also happened. President Trump personally tried to persuade fellow Republican election managers to change numbers and his supporters created fake elector certificates that were planned to replace actual electors.
If we want to have more elections like the our first 58,
Should the constitutional officer second in line to the Presidency be someone who tried to overturn the 2020 election for the Presidency?
I think the best path forward given the tendency of those gangs of 20 is to elect a Speaker that Democrats would help elect and keep the gangs of 20 on the sidelines. America needs to move forward and the election deniers are a boat anchor.
To this end, why not do it with a bang? I would like to see Adam Kinzinger(R) elected as Speaker of the House.
He served as a United States representative from Illinois from 2011 to 2023. A member of the Republican Party, Kinzinger originally represented Illinois’s 11th congressional district and later Illinois’s 16th congressional district. He is a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard.
After President Donald Trump was defeated in the 2020 presidential election, Kinzinger became known for his vocal opposition to Trump’s claims of voter fraud and attempts to overturn the results. He would therefore be a hard pill to swallow by the right’s gang of 20 and because he is a Republican, a hard pill to swallow by the left’s gang of 20. Kinzinger voted against impeachment in Trumps first impeachment but in Trumps second impeachment, was one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach him for incitement of insurrection.
On October 29, 2021, Kinzinger announced that he would not seek reelection to Congress in 2022, after redistricting placed him and another Republican incumbent in the same district.
If Republicans truly want to move on from President Trump then this would be a bold and powerful way of doing so. It would send a message that the Republican Party is back and no longer hijacked by whatever it was that took the Party away from its roots.
Kinzinger is not a liberal. He is a conservative Republican. Republicans should not be afraid of him. Since Republicans now control, sort of, the House, maybe Democrats should find someone they can work with and if that is Kinzinger, they too should not be afraid of him. He won’t hand Democrats what they want but maybe together they can accomplish something other than investigations and denying the results of the 2020 election.