Democratic lawmakers are being asked to stay in DC until the House elects Kevin McCarthy — or someone else — speaker
- The House of Representatives still has not elected a speaker, and no members have been sworn in.
- Kevin McCarthy remains at a stand-off with a group of conservatives who oppose his leadership.
The House of Representatives has been trying to elect a speaker for two days now. And it could keep doing so for days to come.
With Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy continuing to fail in his quest to become speaker — despite several votes since mid-day Tuesday — members are now gearing up to stay in town until the business is finished.
"Members are advised that they should be prepared to stay in Washington, D.C. until a Speaker is elected," reads a notice sent to Democratic members-elect from Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, the party's whip.
Without a speaker, the House cannot conduct any regular business — including passing legislation — and does not even have any official members, since none have been sworn in by the yet-to-be-decided speaker.
Members may only vote to adjourn or take votes on speaker.
For Democrats, it's imperative that they remain in Washington and are able to be physically present in the House chamber at a moment's notice.
The speaker is chosen by all members who are present in the House chamber. If any leave town, that will lower the threshold of votes required for a Republican to be elected speaker.
And for now, Democrats have no desire to help McCarthy — or any Republican, for that matter — claim the gavel.
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