WASHINGTON DC (WWLP) – The House of Representatives has been without a speaker for more than a week, leaving one of America’s branches of government effectively paralyzed. 22News spoke with Congressman Richard Neal to find out what his reaction was to the House’s
inability to elect a suitable successor.

This is the longest that Congress has been rudderless since 1971, when it took 18 days to elect a speaker.

Democrats are standing firm in their refusal to bail out the House Republican majority as it struggles to elect a new speaker 13 days after booting Rep. Kevin McCarthy. Scalise, the House majority leader, had been viewed by many in the GOP as the successor to ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy. However, the House canceled a vote that was scheduled for Wednesday.

Representative Jim Jordon appeared to be the next possible candidate but was struggling to receive enough support to win a vote. Jordon is getting closer and closer to receiving enough votes but is still missing enough ahead of a potential Tuesday vote.

“I think there’s been a steady drift in the Republican Party towards a civil war amongst themselves. This really is not about the Democratic Party in the House. The majority in the House has the obligation to suggest and then elect a speaker, whether or not that’ll happen this week, I don’t know,” said Neal.

Democrats remain solid on backing House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries. If all House members are in attendance for the next vote, Jordan can only afford to lose four Republicans.

Until a new speaker is chosen, Rep. Patrick McHenry will take on the interim role of speaker, which contains limited powers to bring bills to the floor.

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