The Republican leader of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, has failed in his latest bid to get elected Speaker in a paralysis of US government not seen since the pre-Civil War era.
A cohort of right-wingers in his party derailed an 11th attempt to elect him on the third day of voting.
Republicans took over the House in November’s midterm elections, but the impasse has left the chamber unable to swear in members or pass bills.
The House was adjourned until today.
Not since 1860, when the United States’ union was fraying over the issue of slavery, has the lower chamber of Congress voted so many times to pick a Speaker and it took 44 rounds of ballots.
A group of 20 hard-line Republican lawmakers are refusing to give McCarthy the necessary 218 votes.