Crisis in Israel puts Pressure on House to Elect Speaker
WASHINGTON, D.C. - As we are still watching and monitoring the crisis in Israel, it has put a renewed scrutiny on congress at a time when the House is without a Speaker.
According to political scientists and other sources, the House’s Speaker Pro Tempore is basically powerless. We’re told their only authority is to call for a vote for a new Speaker, to adjourn or to recess. When the House ousted Kevin McCarthy last week as Speaker, a post 9-11 rule was enacted. Basically the Speaker has to provide a list of successors if there was no longer a Speaker. Not only are we in uncharted territory by having the House successfully vote out a Speaker, but now we are dealing with this in a time of crisis. Without a Speaker, the House cannot perform legislative business. Meaning if members of congress wanted to provide emergency funding for Israel, the legislation can’t be brought to the House floor. According to Todd Belt, the George Washington University professor and director of political management, the US is still able to provide aid without congress’ approval.
“The president does have the ability to move weapons from US stockpiles over to Israel and the President actually plans on doing that,” said Belt. “The United States has plenty to draw upon in order to do so. Unless this gets dragged out for weeks and weeks I don’t think it’s going to have an impact on the United States’ ability to supply weaponry to Israel.”
Following the initial attack in Israel over the weekend, Congressman Nick Langworhty (R- NY) released a statement saying in part he stands with Israel and “the unprovoked attacks and the brutal murder of civilians by Hamas terrorists are horrifying and heartbreaking.” Senator Chuck Schumer (D- NY) said he was briefed by senior national security officials on Israel, adding that he’s asked the Defense Department to help Israel in everything they need.