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The Speaker Fiasco (Editorial)

1 min read

It’s been a dysfunctional year for the U.S. House of Representatives — even more so than usual.

After a drawn-out process in January to elect a speaker, a minority of House Republicans kick-started an effort that, with the help of Democrats, pushed that same speaker, fellow Republican Kevin McCarthy, out of office last week, a first in the history of Congress.

McCarthy’s exit came days after he worked with Democrats to avert, at the last possible minute, a government shutdown, which Republicans threatened for dubious reasons. That bitter battle followed other House frivolities, including the debt ceiling stalemate and, yes, an inquiry into the possible impeachment of President Biden.

The McCarthy sideshow would be laughable if it weren’t keeping Congress from doing its job. And last week, Arkansas’ House delegation, all of them Republicans, showed their frustrations.

Rep. Steve Womack, who dropped the gavel on the final vote to oust McCarthy, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the last thing House Republicans needed was more negative attention.

“If I’m on the other side of the aisle and I’m running against a Republican in a general election, I’m just going to talk about how do we really want these cats running the show,” he said.

Are Republicans in the House majority able to govern? Many of them are. The problem is the few who refuse, again and again.

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