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U.S. House adjourns with no speaker elected despite longest election in 164 years

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives gather for a round of voting for a new House Speaker of the 118th Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

Washington, U.S. | Xinhua | The U.S. House of Representatives voted to adjourn until noon on Friday with no speaker elected on Thursday after 11 rounds of voting.

U.S. Congressman Kevin McCarthy from California, the House Republican leader, fell short of the necessary votes to take the gavel in five more rounds of voting Thursday afternoon.

The House has voted 11 times since the 118th Congress convened on Tuesday, making it the longest speaker contest in 164 years.

The 435-seat lower chamber, where Republicans have a slim majority over Democrats, is unable to conduct any legislative business until a speaker is elected.

McCarthy has the support of most House Republicans and former U.S. President Donald Trump but a handful of hardliners have pressured him to decentralize the speaker’s power.

All House Democrats have voted for Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat, to be speaker in the election.

Though it’s unlikely for Jeffries to attain the position, he is set to become the first African American lawmaker to lead a party in either chamber of the U.S. Congress.

Republicans flipped the House in the 2022 midterm elections and Democrats held onto their majority in the Senate.

U.S. President Joe Biden said Wednesday that it’s “embarrassing for the country” not to have a fully functional Congress, the legislature of the federal government.

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