The U.S House of Representatives still has no speaker after Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy failed to get the full backing of his party over the course of two days and six rounds of voting. A contingent of about 20 far-right lawmakers opposes McCarthy’s elevation to the top job, but no other candidate has emerged so far who can garner the 218 votes necessary to claim the speaker’s gavel. The impasse has ground all congressional business to a halt, including the swearing-in of new members like Texas Democrat Greg Casar, who says the dysfunction in Congress is no accident. “This is part of their goal. They don’t want a functioning federal government that can pass legislation and support working people,” Casar says of the Republican Party. We also speak with The Intercept’s Ryan Grim, who says much of the press has missed the substance of the fight over the speakership, which is about the far right’s drive to slash social spending, even if it means refusing to raise the debt ceiling and triggering a U.S. default that would crash the economy.
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