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A historic first day in Congress for Strong

WASHINGTON — The family and friends of Dale Strong were going to throw a party for the new congressman Tuesday.
Except, he wasn’t a congressman, yet, thanks to Congress’s failure to elect a Speaker of the House.

The Constitution requires the House elect a speaker before moving forward with any other business – including swearing in new members of Congress.

Since a speaker was not elected Tuesday – after three ballots – Strong is still representative-elect. The House will convene today at noon EST and the proceedings can be streamed here.

“I am honored to step into this new role, serving North Alabamians,” Strong said Tuesday morning. “This is a pivotal time in history where we can change the United States of America and Alabama for the better.”

He was a part of history, though. It was the first time in 100 years the House has needed more than one ballot to elect a speaker. The last time was in 1923, when Speaker Frederick Gillett, R-Mass., won re-election on the ninth ballot.

But Strong did get to vote – all three times – for Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

On Tuesday’s third ballot, Democrat Hakeem Jeffries of New York received 212 votes,  McCarthy received 202, and Republican Jim Jordan of Ohio had 20 votes.
Today, the House votes again and when the speaker is elected and after Strong is sworn in, he said he’s ready to get to work.
“It is my goal to focus on the issues that matter most to North Alabama, energy and border security, reducing inflation, and protecting the American people through a strong national defense,” Strong said.

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