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HomeBreaking NewsConsequences of paralyzed House coming into focus

Consequences of paralyzed House coming into focus

'Quick read' news summary

As the House barrels toward a historic fourth day of speaker deliberations, Republicans and Democrats are warning that the paralysis in the chamber is impacting their work on Capitol Hill — and the interests of some constituents. 

Because the House is required to select a speaker before swearing in members-elect, the House is in a state of suspended animation until Republicans can settle on a leader. 

The path forward was still unclear on Thursday night as Republican leader Kevin McCarthy suffered defeat after defeat after defeat until lawmakers voted to adjourn until Friday.

Without a speaker and sworn-in members, the chamber can’t take up and pass legislation or set up committees. Some lawmakers are warning that they have lost their access to classified briefings until they can take their oaths of office. 

“We’ve seen what happens over the last two years when deterrence fails, when weakness invites aggression,” Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s up to this Congress to restore deterrence, to restore peace through strength. But we aren’t able to do that vital work until we actually get past the speaker vote, populate our committees and start getting to work.”

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told ABC News Congressional Correspondent Rachel Scott that the speakership showdown is a “shame for the country.”

“This is a great institution. And really, I wish they voted [to] elect the speaker on the first vote because we have important work to do. And this undermines that,” she said.

The House of Representatives convenes for the second

As the House barrels toward a historic fourth day of speaker deliberations, Republicans and Democrats are warning that the paralysis in the chamber is impacting their work on Capitol Hill -- and the interests of some constituents. The path forward was still unclear on Thursday night as Republican leader Kevin McCarthy suffered defeat after defeat after defeat until lawmakers voted to adjourn until Friday. Without a speaker and sworn-in members, the chamber can't take up and pass legislation or set up committees.

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