Larry Tracy 12/1/2022

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       Will common sense or childish petulance decide the vote for Speaker of the House?

                                                          Larry Tracy, Colonel USA (Ret.)

With all races decided, Republicans have 221 seats and the Democrats 213 ( down one due to the sudden death of Rep. McEachin of Virginia). Erroneous reporting continues to say the winner of thee race for Speaker on January 3 requires 218 votes. House rules stipulate that the Speaker is elected by a majority of those voting, and “Present” is not a vote.

Five Republicans, however, have vowed they will not vote for McCarthy, voting Present instead. That brings the GOP total down to 216, still enough for McCarthy’s election. But it gets worse. According to one of the five, Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, whom McCarthy defeated 188-31 in the vote for Republican leadership, there are a total of 20 Republicans poised to vote Present.

Do the math. The Democrats are solidly behind Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. If 15 more Republicans join Biggs and the other four who have publicly declared they will not vote for McCarthy, that leaves 213 votes for Jeffries, 201 votes for McCarthy. Result: A Democrat Speaker of the House, even with the Republicans the majority party.

Mark Levin rightly call those voting present “lunkheads.” Do they realize what they are doing, other than proving once again that the Republicans are indeed the “stupid party.”

Fortunately, the election for Speaker does not take place for another month. McCarthy and influential Republicans such as Newt Gingrich have time to persuade recalcitrant members their actions are counter productive and will aid, not hinder, the Biden administration’s disastrous policies.