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With no Speaker, line of succession is again two women

Associated Press/Jacquelyn Martin

As Republican infighting continues to delay the election of a House Speaker, the first two spots in the line of presidential succession are once again held by women.

Vice President Harris and President Pro Tempore Patty Murray (D-Wash.) are currently first and second in line to the presidency, after a small group of Republicans blocked Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) bid for Speaker on Tuesday and dragged the process into a second day.

While Harris will remain first in line as vice president, Murray will shift to third in line once a Speaker is elected.

However, after three votes on Tuesday, McCarthy had yet to secure a majority for the Speakership, prompting Republican leaders to adjourn and punt the issue to Wednesday. The group of Republicans opposing McCarthy appeared to remain steadfast, even expanding slightly from 19 to 20 members in the final vote of the day. 

That means Murray remains second in line to the presidency in the meantime.

Murray was elected president pro tempore on Tuesday, becoming the first woman to hold the position. The most senior member of the majority party typically becomes president pro tempore. However, after Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) declined to take up the mantle, the position went to Murray as the second most senior senator in the Democratic Party.

“I’m honored to officially become the President Pro Tempore of the Senate today,” Murray said in a Twitter post on Tuesday, alongside a video of Harris swearing in the Washington senator.

“It’s not lost on me the significance of what it means to be the first woman to serve in this role,” she added. “This is another sign that slowly but surely, Congress is looking more like America.”

The first two spots in the line of succession were held by two women in the last Congress, when Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) served as Speaker alongside Harris.

Tags Dianne Feinstein Kamala Harris Kamala Harris Kevin McCarthy Kevin McCarthy Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi Patty Murray Patty Murray presidential succession Senate president pro tempore Speaker of the House Speakership vote

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