Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, was dismissed from his position. Patrick McHenry was temporarily appointed as his replacement, the ВВС writes.
“This moment is unprecedented in modern US history. The House is now in uncharted waters, but some procedure guides what happens next,” the journalists explain.
The speaker of the House of Representatives is the third person in the US after the president and vice president, writes Ostap Yarysh, a Ukrainian journalist who has been commenting on Washington’s policy for the Voice of America Ukrainian service since 2019. 216 members of the House of Representatives supported the decision to resign McCarthy, including eight members of the Republican Party. 210 congressmen voted against it.
McCarthy’s resignation was criticized by the representative of the ultra-right wing of his party, Matt Gaetz. The reason is that McCarthy worked with the Democrats to avoid a shutdown. Also, Gaetz accused McCarthy of allegedly making agreements with the White House to promote support for Ukraine in Congress, Yarysh explained.
“What does this mean for Ukraine? At this stage, consideration of new financing for Kyiv is postponed indefinitely. The House of Representatives must now elect a new speaker. Until then, congressmen will be unable to vote on other urgent issues,” the journalist wrote.
Yarysh also added that Ukraine’s support will depend on who is elected as the new speaker. The speaker determines legislative priorities, decides which votes to consider, and which policy to pursue in general. “So what influence the party’s radical wing will have on the new speaker will be of great importance here,” Yarysh concluded.
It currently needs to be determined whether the interim speaker will have full powers and the ability to oversee new elections. The rules do not specify how long he can serve as interim speaker or when new elections will be held. “The House will likely be thrown into chaos until another Speaker is chosen,” ВВС writes.
The process of electing a new permanent chairperson begins. It is impossible to predict its duration since the Republicans have a small majority – 221 against the Democrats’ 212. The votes of only five of them are enough to block any appointment.
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