The United States’ capacity to back Israel after an unexpected assault by Hamas from Gaza in the last 24 hours might face challenges due to the absence of a speaker in the House.
New York Rep. Kevin McCarthy voiced his concerns about this leadership void, especially after his recent removal from the speaker position.
“There is nothing the House can do until they elect a speaker. And I don’t know if that happens quickly,” McCarthy said during an appearance on Fox News.
“Why would you ever remove a speaker during a term to raise doubt around the world?” he later added, hinting at the sensitive intelligence situation.
Doubts persist regarding North Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry and his ability to access classified intelligence. This intelligence is typically shared with a select group of congressional leaders, often referred to as the “Gang of Eight.”
Jack Sherman, co-founder of Punchbowl News, shed light on the limitations the House currently faces.
“The House has no speaker as of now. So, as of now, the chamber will be limited in what it can do to help our strongest ally in the Middle East. Resolutions are probably fine. Policy or money — probably not,” Sherman noted.
“By the way. There are questions about whether the House can even pass a resolution right now,” Sherman continued.
The Senate, on the other hand, plans to adjourn for a week. This break coincides with New York Sen. Chuck Schumer’s participation in an overseas congressional delegation trip. President Joe Biden, however, has shown his support for Israel during these trying times.
““Today, I spoke with [Netanyahu] about the appalling Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel. I offered our support and reiterated my unwavering commitment to Israel’s security,” Biden stated.
The House’s decision on a new speaker remains uncertain. Potential candidates have emerged, with figures like Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan expressing interest. The Democrats, meanwhile, seem to be rallying behind New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.
The urgency of the situation is palpable, especially with the escalating conflict in the Middle East. Israel has declared a “state of war,” and Hamas is pushing for a more extensive “Islamic resistance.”
New York Rep. Brandon Williams (R) emphasized the need for swift action.
“We should be called back to DC & vote on a Speaker ASAP,” Williams asserted. “Every hour brings more risk. I met with a Taiwan representative yesterday … they are anxious about our weakness. It’s time to step up folks & get back to leading.”
Another representative, New York Rep. Mike Lawler, highlighted the gravity of the situation.
“The terrorist attack in Israel is a reminder that events can unfold quickly — which is why the removal of the Speaker mid-term was disastrous. Personal grievances and petty politics are destructive to our nation and the stability of our government. We need to elect a Speaker,” Lawler stated.
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