Analysis: House speaker job like ‘being mayor of hell’

On Wednesday, Rep. Kevin McCarthy continued to fail multiple votes to become Speaker of the House, a likely precursor for the fights to come over proposed legislation


National News

January 4, 2023 - 3:07 PM

U.S. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., talks with fellow Republicans in the House Chamber during the second day of elections for Speaker of the House on Jan. 4. By day's end McCarthy still had not secured enough votes to become majority leader. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON — Republican leader Kevin McCarthy surely could have seen defeat coming: The wave that swamped him has been building for years.

In 2015, attacks from the right wing drove House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio to quit in frustration. Boehner’s successor, Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, stuck it out for just 2½ years before announcing that he, too, would quit the House.

On Tuesday, the division that stymied the last two Republican speakers reached its logical conclusion: For the first time in 100 years, the majority party in the House proved unable to elect its nominee as speaker.

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