Jan 4, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Biden: House's failure to elect speaker is "embarrassing"

President Biden said Wednesday that the House of Representatives' failure to elect a speaker is "embarrassing" but that the stalemate is "not my problem."

Why it matters: House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) lost his bid for the speakership during three rounds of voting before the House adjourned without a speaker on Tuesday.

What they're saying: "With regard to the fight over the speaker, that's not my problem," Biden said outside of the White House before leaving for a trip to northern Kentucky.

  • "I just think it's a little embarrassing it's taken so long and the way they're dealing with one another," he added. "And the rest of the world's looking. They're looking at, you know, if we can get our act together."
  • Biden said he believes a prolonged stalemate over the speaker would not affect his administration's ability to govern.

The big picture: McCarthy's bid for speakership was blocked by a total of 20 Republicans who voted for other candidates, while all Democrats voted for Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).

What's next: The House will meet Wednesday at noon to resume voting for its next speaker.

  • Until it can elect a speaker, the House will be at a complete standstill, as it can't start regular business without one.

Go deeper: How the House speaker vote will work

Editor's note: This story was updated with additional context.

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