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Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Opening Day of 118th Congress - US House of Representatives (LIVE VIDEO AT NOON)


Background

The chamber will meet in a pro forma session at 10 a.m. this morning. At around 11:50 a.m., the House will meet to sine die the 117th Congress and will convene the 118th Congress at noon on the House floor. If there is a speaker elected, House members will take ceremonial swearing-in photos with the speaker at 3 p.m.

Order of Business

Today at noon the US House of Representatives will begin its first session today and one of the first items of business is to elect a new Speaker of the House. The outcome of this election is usually not in doubt, but this time, there are enough members of the Freedom Caucus in the Republican party who have publicly stated they will not vote for the Majority Leader to be Speaker. If a Speaker is not elected on the first ballot, it will be the first time in a hundred years it has happened.

To win a vote to be Speaker requires a majority of votes. If all 435 members participate in the vote, then 218 votes is needed.

Representative [Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)] has had 211 members pledged to vote for him.

You can watch the opening ceremonies via the video player below. (If video of the sine die the 117th Congress is available, it will be embedded also).



Here are some articles to assist you in understanding the byzantine politics that are playing out today.



• EXPLAINER: How the House of Representatives elects a speaker [AP News]

• McCarthy heads to grueling speaker vote with fate in limbo [Politico]

• Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2021 [Federation of American Scientists (PDF)]

• Inside the rules that could govern the new GOP-led House [Politico: Congress Minutes]





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