Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/For The Washington Post via Getty Images
- Biden said “it’s a little embarrassing” House Republicans can’t agree on a speaker.
- This is the first time since 1923 that it has taken multiple ballots to fill the leadership post.
- The president said the world is watching as the congressional drama drags on.
President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that it’s a “little embarrassing” that House Republicans can’t agree on a speaker, adding that the most chaotic leadership battle in a century also casts a pall on the US abroad.
“We are finally coming out of the time of the whole history relating to January 6, things are settling out, and now for the first time in 100 years we can’t move,” Biden told reporters before departing for an event touting his bipartisan infrastructure law in Kentucky. “It’s not a good look. It’s not a good thing, and I really hope they get their act together.”
Biden’s comments come as the House of Representatives remains deadlocked over its inability to agree on a Speaker of the House. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, who a majority of his caucus put forth in a previous closed-door vote, lost the support of as many as 20 fellow Republicans during three successive votes on Tuesday. Without a speaker, the House cannot perform even the most basic function of swearing in lawmakers, let alone pass legislation.
The president added that it’s “not my problem.” Instead, he said he will turn his attention elsewhere while the GOP publicly dukes out its future.
“What I’m focused on is getting things done,” Biden said
Later in the afternoon, Biden joined Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky to tout the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law that is paving the way for an overhaul of the beleaguered Brent Spence Bridge, a major artery that connects Ohio and Kentucky.
Biden, speaking at an infrastructure event in Kentucky, noted that Democratic Rep.-elect Greg Landsman of Ohio’s 1st District couldn’t be there because he was dealing with trying to figure out who will be the next House speaker.
“I wish him a lot of luck,” Biden said with a laugh. “He may be the first freshman ever elected speaker of the House of Representatives.”
Talking with reporters after the event, Biden jokingly offered his congratulations to Reuters’ Steve Holland.
“They just elected you speaker,” the president said.