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After 3 days and 11 votes, McCarthy still can’t secure speakership, meets ‘basically all’ Freedom Caucus demands

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The House of Representatives has adjourned after a third day without selecting a Republican Speaker. After 11 rounds of ballots, Representative Kevin McCarthy has failed to secure the necessary 218 votes to be elected as Speaker of the House.

However, McCarthy and many of the GOP members who oppose his speakership have come to a tentative deal that meets “basically all” of the demands made by the House Freedom Caucus (HFC) reports Fox News.

The agreements could secure the speakership for McCarthy in the near future, but because some Republican members are expected to be absent on Friday, the deals and finalizing votes to elect the Speaker could be put off until next week.

Representative-elect Michael McCaul of Texas said Thursday he thinks only about half of the 20 Republicans will be swayed by the deal. However, “several GOP and Democratic lawmakers told Fox News” that meeting “basically all” of the demands “could get McCarthy to the 218 votes he needs in the near future.”

Fox News reports:

Under the agreement that’s still under review, McCarthy has agreed to give HFC members a stronger presence on key House committees, impose new controls on spending, and allowing a single member of the House to make a motion to remove the speaker, lawmakers said. That last item was one on which McCarthy initially offered a five-member minimum to “vacate the chair.”

The deal also includes a requirement that legislation must be introduced for 72 hours before it can be passed and a guaranteed vote on term limits, according to Rep.-elect Ralph Norman of South Carolina.

Lawmakers said they believe these changes could get McCarthy exactly 218 votes at some point, after a few remaining issues are settled with a handful of members. That implies that McCarthy’s side expects four GOP lawmakers to remain opposed to him, but he can lose that many and still win the speaker’s gavel if all others support him.

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China

Chinese Spy Balloon: Tensions rise between the U.S. and China

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A strange object was spotted Wednesday over Billings Montana. The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that the strange object was, in fact, a Chinese spy balloon. According to a report from KPAX, a western Montana news outlet, the balloon had been on the governments radar for days.

On Friday, the Chinese government released a statement saying that the balloon spotted in Billings is a “civilian airship” that’s sole purpose is used to collect research on weather and that it had just blown off course. The balloon was not shot down by orders of the Pentagon due to the risk of falling debris injuring people on the ground.

Sara Carter, who has spoken frequently on the Chinese government’s threat and expansion to the West, stated on Twitter that the United States has failed to stop China from purchasing land near military installations, vital agricultural land, as well as, allowing Chinese linked companies, such as Huawei, to install technology in cellular towers. Those cellular towers are located in Montana, along side more than 150 ICBM nuclear silos.

China said, “The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into U.S. airspace due to force majeure.” Majeure meaning that it was out of there control. It blew off course due to limited “self-steering” capabilities according the Ministry. The ministry also stated that the balloon, “deviated far from its planned course.”

This incident is adding fuel to the fire of what is already a tense relationship between the worlds two largest economies. China already lays claim to approximately 80% of the South China Sea, and is seeking full control over Taiwan after assuming full control of Hong Kong. China’s belt and road initiative has invested copious amounts of money into building infrastructure in other countries and uses it as economic blackmail. China’s transportation of fentanyl into Mexico is yet again another example of how they are seeking to damage the US.

Is this just a weather ballon that blew off course? US officials at the White House seem to be unconvinced and will continue to monitor the balloon, as reported.

UPDATED: Statement from the Pentagon was jaw dropping when a reporter asked if the public has a right to know about Beijing’s balloon.

“The public certainly has the ability to look up in the sky and see where the balloon is,” a DOD official responded.

 

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