Non-political political question

Without any reference to any political party or politician, the House of Representatives doesn’t start it’s session until they name a Speaker of the House. What would the macro economic impact be if no Speaker is named?

I can think of 2 significant impacts; no federal budget and no increase in the debt ceiling. Both of these would have highly negative impacts on our economy.

Any thoughts on other macro-economic impacts from the House not being able to start its session?


Sounds like nothing would get done for their constituents - kind of like it is now anyway.



I think without both houses functioning, it might open the door to the possibility of autocratic actions of the executive?

Can a minority party in the House hold the speaker position? Has it happened before?


Don’t know about the rest of the country, but it sure would mess up my neighborhood (about 12 miles from the Capitol).

Yes, the minority party can hold the speaker position. Which will happen if the 20 GOP rebels walk out on the vote. Which they won’t.

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It seems extraordinarily unlikely that the Speaker standoff could continue long enough for either of those to be an issue. The Congress just passed funding for the full fiscal 2023, and there’s room under the debt ceiling to take us well into the summer. The stalemate would have to go on for six months or so. That doesn’t seem like it would happen - even the most delayed Speaker election in history “only” took a few months to resolve.


Correct. The last time this happened, 1923, apparently also was instigated by a factional debate in the majority party. Took 9 votes to settle. Apparently, there have been 5 failed votes so far, on this go around.

Apparently, the Speaker can be anybody, including persons who are not a member of the House. They could elect anyone they want, provided they can find someone who is interested in an administrative job.



Well, one thing they have done is disable the metal detectors, so as the frustrations grow, it’s anyone’s guess what the final solution might be with the number of crazies involved.

Need more popcorn!


This guy is available and has experience:


In the National Assembly, no. By coincidence, in Pennsylvania this year a Democrat is the House Speaker, even though there are more Republicans in the House.


That is an interesting point. Every one of the members of the House has staffers devoted to constituent services. I am not talking about the “services” that get handled on the golf courses over government contracts or tax breaks. I mean getting a Social Security issue straightened out, an appointment to a military academy, or some person or business needing help finding their way through the maze of agencies to track down the person to help or advise them. Since none of the 435 members of the House can be sworn in can any of them have a staff providing these services?

It would be absolutely the greatest thing ever to have John Bercow as the Speaker of the House!!! I have been watching him for years and he is great. I wish he was still in Parliament!!!


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There is a very quiet center that wants things done. There are 28 wild cards. The idea of no budget and no rise in the debt ceiling is offensive to them. We wont hear their voices before their decisions are made. I am saying a Democrat has a good chance of becoming the next speaker with at least 218 votes. There wont be much of a heads up before hand if this outcome transpires.

  • this was the number in the 117th congress.

I’m just guessing here, but I suspect that work can continue.

One of the recently elected representatives died before he (she?) could be sworn in. (That’s why you’ll see vote totals coming up to 434 for a while.) Their web site indicates that constituent services would continue under the supervision of some House administrator until a new Representative is elected.

I don’t see why those services couldn’t carry on for all representatives (with one really overworked administrator :wink:) until they are sworn in.



Seems Wall Street et al loves gridlock, i.e., nothing changes. This would seem to be an extreme example, but not a whole lot can change under this scenario.

Possibility of POTUS trying to issue executive orders ad nauseam.

Chances of having a minority leader be Speaker are slim but could happen IF enough people vote “present” or don’t show up to vote for 212 to be the 50% + 1 to win. So 12 people would have to pull that stunt.

The longest the US has gone without a Speaker was back in 1855 when it took 133 votes over 2 months.

Rep. Don Bacon tweeted: “My office was informed by an agency today that they cannot communicate with my staff regarding active casework because we are not yet sworn in!..” 2:37 PM · Jan 5, 2023


I thought that might be the case. Until they are sworn in, they are just J. Q. Public like the rest of us.

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I think the solution is easy. Right now, the party with the most seats will have to compromise its policies to be held hostage by a relatively small group of dissidents.

In addition, these “upstarts” want desirable committee positions without the proof of fundraising on behalf of their party which normally buys that position.

I believe that, if they offered more sharing of their power with the other party (say parity of numbers on committee, but with republican chairmen), they could convince a number of them to, if not vote for McCarthy, then not to vote - affording him a majority.

It all boils down to trust (or lack, thereof) and whether having a consortium government is something which would be politically palatable to “the base” - as well as it’s presumed leader - currently the only declared presidential candidate for 2024.



I don’t see Kevin getting any support from across the aisle. However, the GOP really, really needs to find a rational moderate that can get enough GOP votes along with a substantial number of Dem votes. And yes, that will include power sharing in committees.

Kevin will not hold the gavel. He needed the red wave, and that did not happen.

We are on our way to a coalition style government, and with only two parties. But it will take time to get there. Strange times indeed.


I doubt McCarthy can get any support in that unmentioned regard.

That silent middle will break…and the minority party become the majority.

Or the current majority party will need another person for speaker. I very much doubt that can happen either.

The outgoing majority that used parliament maneuvers brilliantly may have left this mess on purpose. Love it. Earn your metal or be cast aside.

in the 117 there were 56 moderates. 28 and 28 from both sides. I think the party without the mess is a better promise to all of the 56. The debt ceiling and spending have to go through which are the real sticking points. That wont be solved with McCarthy lite. The far right wont make up the 218. Meaning in affect the 28 are shuffling over to the minority party. The minority party is currently organized enough to leverage that and do so quite honestly.

I could see some of the 28 becoming independents. But they will then caucus with the Democrats.

I find this whole thing, the last 20 years, and especially the last 8 years, rather fascinating.
I sat through a couple government and civics classes in middle and high school, and a couple more in college.
They didn’t teach these nuts and bolts mechanics of government. I think I barely learned what were the three branches that “balance” each other… And really had no idea (didn’t really care, either) how they actually BALANCE the power of the other branches.

So, this is at least educational for me.
I suspect I’m not alone.

I also think that the microscope that is the internet and the 24/7 micro-news cycle, facilitates the “learning”.