(WKBN) – As Congress was gaveled into session Friday, members tried to elect a speaker of the house. For the third time in a row, they failed.
Shenango Valley congressman Mike Kelly was one of 25 voting against Ohio’s Jim Jordan on Friday. The Republican, who represents the 16th district, says the growing animosity among the Republican caucus started two weeks ago.
“October 11, Steve Scalise was elected. October 12 he had to step down because the people who did not vote for him refused to support him,” said Kelly. “That’s not the American way.”
Kelly has voted for Scalise, who’s the majority leader in the house, twice now. He says the tension is growing.
“It’s been left to fester and fester and fester,” said Kelly. “The number of people that are getting horrible, horrible phone calls.”
Following Friday’s loss, members of the GOP caucus agreed to drop Jordan as their nominee for Speaker. Kelly hinted that might be what’s needed to break the stalemate.
“It comes down to one. One person. One person has to decide ‘Okay, you know, it’s over. Let’s get somebody else in place and let’s get back to work,'” Kelly said.
In the meantime, little else is getting done in the house and Kelly says voters may start getting frustrated.
“Because it doesn’t make sense to the American people,” Kelly said. “They’re losing the faith, the trust and the confidence they need to have.”