Republicans can't figure out how to install a speaker of the House of Representatives, so they might have to get creative before this issue continues much further.
As a result of Kevin McCarthy's recent ouster and Jim Jordan's and Steve Scalise's inability thus far to receive enough support to replace him, Republicans might be eyeing an option that hasn't been used since the Civil War:
If enough Republicans won't confirm a new speaker, then maybe they should change the rules to require fewer votes to elect one.
It's been done twice before, although not in recent memory.
In 1856, America was fractured beyond repair and heading into a Civil War.
It's no wonder lawmakers couldn't come to an agreement during that time period.
Making things even more complicated, there were far more political parties in the mix at that time.
The Republican Party, the Democratic Party, the Know-Nothing Party, and the Whig Party all had a stake in matters.
It took 133 votes over two months, but after deciding to make the winner based on a plurality instead of a majority, Speaker Nathaniel Banks of the Know-Nothing Party was installed.
The same strategy was used back in 1849 when the House was without a speaker for 19 days.
On that occasion, it was the Whig Party, the Democrat Party, and the Free Soil Party that couldn't come to an agreement.
Then-Rep. Andrew Johnson of Tennessee proposed the idea of lowering the required vote threshold.
It was done, and Georgia Democrat Rep. Howell Cobb was elected speaker by way of plurality after 63 votes.
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