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Slim GOP majority traps McCarthy in US House speaker standoff

Slim GOP majority traps McCarthy in US House speaker standoff

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

Why is the GOP, the Republican Party, having difficulty electing a House leader?

Well, it's because they have like a razor, razor thin margin and that means that Kevin McCarthy cannot afford to lose votes even though he has 90% of the GOP ready to vote for him. That's not enough to get it done, and the Democrats are more than happy to watch the Republicans flail around for days or weeks to lose votes while they are in the majority. So as a consequence, we're going to keep having votes. Last time you had more than one vote for a house speaker was in 1923. So congratulations to the GOP on making history.

Will Erdogan have success playing peacemaker with Zelensky and Putin?

You know, you've got to give Erdogan credit. He is the guy together with the secretary-general of the United Nations that has managed to get two rounds of a food and fertilizer deal done in the Black Sea, which is helping to reduce prices around the world in an environment of very high inflation. So that's a big deal, and this is a war with almost no positive stories that have come out. But on the broader issue of negotiations between the two countries, I'm going to say "no." These two sides are very far apart. The Ukrainians are under massive pressure to get their territory back and to have a rejoinder to the thousands of war crimes that have been committed against their country. That is not a position where they're suddenly going to say "okay, we're going to talk about some of the land that you guys have taken from us." And meanwhile, Putin has been humiliated by a massive loss over the course of the last year, and he's certainly not going to say "okay, I give up. I'm going to just leave." So there just isn't room. You could have some talks, but there isn't room right now at least, for fundamental negotiations that would be promising, that could be impactful, that could have progress between the two sides.

What countermeasures is China threatening in response to COVID travel restrictions?

Well, you could certainly see tit for tat in China, given the fact that, you know, the Chinese, everybody wants to get back into China that hasn't been able to travel there for a couple of years now. But I don't expect there'll be significant economic countermeasures. All they're asking for at this point, and this is India and pretty much the entire G7, is saying "you need to take a COVID test to make sure that when you're coming over that you're not COVID positive." Over 50% of Chinese that were traveling to, I think it was Milan, last week on flights, were positive for COVID. There was no way in that environment with the Chinese that are letting COVID rip and that aren't actually testing for asymptomatic COVID, that they're going to just allow them to get on planes and travel around the world. So it seems to be a fairly natural response.

Also won't last very long because this wave is so massive and will burn itself out over the course of at least a couple of months.


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