The U.S. House of Representatives set a modern record on Thursday when they failed to vote for a new Speaker for the 11th time. The last time the Speaker race ballots went into double digits was at the start of the 36th Congress, before the Civil War, with 44 rounds of voting.
Though some new names, including former President Donald Trump, were thrown into the mix, the votes mostly stayed the same, with U.S. Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) getting the most but falling short of the required 218.
Alabama's federal delegation has stood behind McCarthy on each vote, including U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, who said he personally told McCarthy he'd support him.
While the group of about 20 Republicans opposing McCarthy appears not to be budging, Aderhold said progress is being made behind the scenes.
"I understand there some negotiations been going on with some groups on the side," he told 1819 News. "I think that really right now, seeing the same results on each ballot — I think at this point I wouldn't read too much into it because I think there are some negotiations that are going on."
One upside to having so many voting rounds is it gives lawmakers time to meet and negotiate, he said.
"I think there's some movement. Maybe a little bit, it's only a little, small amount of movement, but I do think there's some movement taking place," Aderholt said.
Some fear that even with slow progress, continued failure to pick a Speaker may cause some Republicans to make deals with Democrats. However, Aderholt said he'd not seen any of that taking place.
"I have not really been a part of any negotiations… Any negotiations I've seen have basically been between Republicans."
His concern with the negotiations among the GOP is that it could dilute the power of seniority in Congress if new members are given benefits in exchange for their votes.
"I think we got to make sure that we do what is fair to everybody," Aderholt said… [I]f you started playing around with seniority, committing for their vote that they would be ahead of people in the seniority process, I think that is something that would be very, very dangerous for Kevin or any Speaker to do. But I have not seen evidence that that is happening as of right now."
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