The 118th Congress has just been gaveled into session, and it seems clear that, at least in the House of Representatives, the nation is facing the worst two years of Congressional action in modern history!
After the very successful 117th Congress under President Joe Biden, while the Senate has one extra Democrat now (John Fetterman of Pennsylvania), the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives is on the way to disaster, as it now seems inevitable that the battle over whether Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California is to become Speaker of the House is going to take multiple ballots for the first time in a century!
Frederick Gillett had to suffer through nine ballots before he was chosen to be Speaker in the 68th Congress, precisely a century ago!
There have been 14 Congresses that had a battle over who would be Speaker, all but 1923 being before the Civil War, with four being Congresses between 1847 and 1861; five being between 1819 and 1841; and four being between 1793 and 1811.
So this will be the 15th Congress out of 118 that has had this struggle over who would be Speaker.
The longest battles have been in the 34th Congress (1855-1857)—133 ballots; the 31st Congress (1849-1851)—63 ballots; the 36th Congress (1859-1861)—44 ballots; and the 16th Congress (1819-1821)—22 ballots.
As I write this mid afternoon, Kevin McCarthy has lost on the first and second ballots, and it seems as if this struggle for the Speakership will go on endlessly, and the feeling is that someone else, possibly Jim Jordan of Ohio, may end up as Speaker, even though he has supported McCarthy!
If such happens, the nation is is dangerous times, as Jordan was too close and supportive of Donald Trump, and has vehemently condemned the January 6 House investigation of the US Capitol Insurrection!