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The Wolf

The Student News Site of Tualatin High School

The Wolf

The Student News Site of Tualatin High School

The Wolf


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Jordan Anderson
Staff Writer

House Speaker turmoil roiled in 2023

With continued talk of a government shutdown and the role of Speaker of the House only recently settled, here is what you need to know about the current events in the House of Representatives. 

Republicans lead the house with a slight majority – 222 to 213 – but are subdivided between the ultra-right “Freedom Caucus” and moderates, whose ideology rejects such extremism. With such division in the House, electing a Speaker was an exhaustive process involving negotiations between both parties. 

On Jan. 7, after 15 votes, Republican Kevin McCarthy was elected Speaker with the condition that any representative could call a vote to oust him at any time. Due to these conditions, McCarthy held loose authority and frequently sided with the Freedom Caucus in an effort to keep their votes – except when it came to their greatest concern: spending. 

With both parties angry at McCarthy and the end of the fiscal year approaching, McCarthy was in a difficult position. The Freedom Caucus opposed short-term budgets unless spending was lowered, while the Democrats were unwilling to exceed the budget already set by Biden and McCarthy earlier in the year. To avoid a shutdown, McCarthy went against his party and worked with Democrats to pass short-term budgets, an action which ultimately led to his removal. 

Freedom Caucus member Matt Gaetz led a vote to oust McCarthy on Oct. 3. What ensued was 21 days of panic while Republicans scrambled to assemble enough votes to elect anyone to the position, during which no legislation, government funding or policy bills could be passed. 

After multiple failed bids for Speaker, Mike Johnson was elected on Oct. 25. Johnson has already encountered difficulty with unifying Republicans in the House.

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Jordan Anderson, Staff Writer

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