WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said House Republicans’ inability to unify behind a speaker candidate, which has prevented the chamber from beginning its legislative business, was “embarrassing” and “not a good look” for the country.
Speaking at the White House on Wednesday before traveling to Kentucky for an event to highlight last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Biden said of Republicans, “I hope they get their act together.” Biden said that “the rest of the world is looking” at the chaotic scenes on the House floor but that his focus was on “getting things done.”
“That’s not my problem,” the Democratic president said of the speaker vote. “I just think it’s really embarrassing it’s taking so long.” He declined to say whether he had any choice for the speaker job, adding “I have no idea” who will prevail.
House Republicans’ choice candidate for the job, Kevin McCarthy of California, failed to win the required majority on three ballots Tuesday — the first time in a century a speaker hasn’t been selected on the first ballot. Members-elect are set to return to the chamber on Wednesday for additional balloting.
A speaker is required for the would-be members to be sworn-in and for the chamber’s business to begin.