Critique of Congressional Voting


Neve Walker

The system that is in place is inefficient and just doesn’t make sense. Read more about my opinion on the whole House Speaker conflict

As someone who is an active political student journalist and hopefully future leader of the United States of America, the recent congressional voting for the new Congressional Majority House Speaker sparked my interest.

Please take this article with a grain of salt, this is solely my opinion. I have been politically active through my writing since middle school, and even interned at a local congressional campaign for six months, so I’d like to say I am more educated than the average person when it comes to politics, especially Congress.

To be frank, the time it took to vote in a new speaker and the conduct that occured by the congresspeople, the people that we elect to represent us in the government, was embarrassing. Even the process used to vote on the House Speaker is ineffective and outdated.

It took fifteen votes to vote in Kevin McCarthy, a person who was always going to be voted in eventually. So what was the purpose of the few republican candidates splitting their vote?

The Republican Party is purest to the core. They value tradition, and want to keep it that way. They aren’t afraid to vote someone out that doesn’t follow exactly what they believe in and the far right republicans will even actively block a vote for a republican candidate because the candidate is seen as too ‘progressive’ or moderate for them, even after the support of Donald Trump(their savior) was reaffirmed.

The main reason there was a split between the GOP is the growing divide between moderate conservatives that find solutions in a bipartisan matter and Trump supporters who remain loyal to the Former President, and hold radicalized views that effectively hurt the totality of the Republican Party in the long run.

But what was the point of the split? What was accomplished? Well, a lot. Because the far right republicans wouldn’t vote in favor of McCarthy outright, concessions had to be made by the House Speaker in order to be voted in. These concessions set the stage for the future of the House and the increasingly far right direction it seems to be taking.

Another thing that was accomplished by this embarrassing split and stalemate in the House is the reputation of the GOP being tarnished. It is embarrassing for the party that finally recieved a majority in Congress, a great accomplishment considering the Democratic Party controls the Senate and the Executive Branch, cannot seem to control their infighting.

On the contrary, although the Democratic Party doesn’t control the House, and doesn’t have a firm candidate for the 2024 Presidential election, they seem as unified as ever as they consistently voted in favor of Hakeem Jeffries for 15 votes.

The far right Republicans who voted in Congressional candidates such as Matt Gaetz and Majorie Taylor Greene are rejoicing in the chaos that was created, yet most conservatives should be looking at Congress in terror.

The main complaint I have though doesn’t involve the failure of the Republican Party at all, but the failure of Congress. The process to vote for the House Speaker was prolonged and inefficient.

It would be a better system if instead of vote after vote, just minutes after each other, there was time and discussions between the entire House, not just a select few in private offices. If we had more speeches on why to vote for McCarthy, or another candidate, there might be more changes in opinion. The only speeches made on the house floor in this process was just nominating a potential speaker.

Yes, having a private conversation is important in this process, but only private discussions will not change much. Instead, there should be a mixture of private discussions and speeches, moderated caucuses and unmoderated caucuses, as said in the Model UN world. If a consensus was made between the entire GOP there wouldn’t be as much infighting.

It is ridiculous how little time there was in between the votes. After a full day of voting, there seems to be no changes in opinion but when the voting is adjourned to the next day, when there has been time to make concessions and have discussions, many congresspeople swayed their votes. For example, on the last day of voting there were over ten votes that swung in favor of McCarthy.

The aspect that was most obvious when watching the live stream of the Congressional Voting was the lack of respect that most congresspeople acted with. With no House Speaker, there was nobody enforcing the rules of the House, which led to people playing on their phones, talking with others, and even leaving the House Floor during the vote.

It is ridiculous that the Model United Nations conferences and Speech and Debate tournaments that I attend, full of teenagers, act with more decorum than actual congress people that represent our country as a democratic republic. The fact that we voted these people in and this is how they act the second they are able to is just embarrassing for our country.

Overall, this whole process was very childish and easily prevented with common sense. I have only taken three weeks of a political science class, yet the way I would run things seems to be more efficient than the way things are run now.

Anyway, Neve Walker for President 2040.