Until 218 Republicans Can Agree, Patty Murray Remains Second in Line for Presidency
2023 is off to an odd start. Just five days into the new year, the biggest story in America has the country captivated, including casual voters. Sure, we're less than a week in; but that undersells all the figurative (and in some cases, literal) popcorn being eaten right now. With the House Republicans unable to come up with the 218 votes needed to elect Kevin McCarthy as the Speaker of the House, that means there is no Speaker of the House. Without a speaker having been elected, that moves the president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate up to second in line for the United States Presidency, only behind Vice President Kamala Harris.
Washington Senator Patty Murray is the newly-appointed president pro tempore of the United States Senate.
In November of last year, Chuck Schumer announced his intent to nominate Patty Murray for the position, which she accepted. This places Senator Murray second in the presidential succession line.
The last time it took more than one ballot to elect a Speaker of the House was in 1923.
For the past 100 years, elections for the Speaker of the House have gone without a hitch, nice and easy. For Representative McCarthy, he faces a monumental bid for the highest power in the House Chamber, a fight that hasn't been drug out past the first round since Frederick Gillett and the nine ballots required to elect him.
What is the largest amount of ballots required to elect a Speaker of the House?
If you thought going past the tenth round was tiresome, imagine being Nathanial P. Banks, who in 1856, required 133 ballots to get elected. The next-"best" worst was in 1849 when Howell Cobb needed 63 ballots to become Speaker of the House.
While I can't tell you what will happen next, I will say that this is precedented, even if it's been 100 years. This will most certainly appear in the history books of the future.
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