US: McCarthy is speaker of the House of Representatives

After 15 rounds of voting, Republican Kevin McCarthy was finally elected speaker of the US House of Representatives late on Friday night. Following heated debates and disruptions, the Republican members who had repeatedly blocked his election eventually abstained from voting. Commentators fear McCarthy made too many concessions to the "Never Kevins".

Open/close all quotes
Der Standard (AT) /

A puppet of the radical right

The far right within the Republican Party will decisively influence events in the House of Representatives in future, warns Der Standard:

“McCarthy - no model liberal himself, but a well-behaved conservative who often opportunistically acts in a Trumpian way - has made overtures to the far-right group of the party to the point of self-denial, made concessions and promises. He has corrupted and corroded the office of speaker before even assuming it. As a puppet of the ultra-right, McCarthy now has zero room to manoeuvre. Every single piece of legislation - budget, Ukraine aid, economic programmes - now depends on the most extreme of the extreme giving the thumbs up. Or thumbs down.”

De Tijd (BE) /

Two years of unpredictability ahead

The chaotic election of Kevin McCarthy is a bad omen for the governability of the US, De Tijd also fears:

“The political stalemate in the country will only get worse. ... Washington threatens to become completely dysfunctional. That in itself is a victory for the extreme faction which feels that the Washington elite has made itself too comfortable in its power cocoon. Derailing the political train is now part of their agenda. The scary thing is that the US will have to live with this unpredictable factor for two years. One thing is already clear: this will not be a triumphal march for democracy.”