Good morning, US politics blog readers, and welcome to Kevin McCarthy’s first day on the job as speaker of the House. The California Republican was finally elected to the post after 15 rounds of balloting that ended in the wee hours of Saturday morning, and today he’ll take the reins of Congress’s lower chamber. On the agenda is passage of the customary rules package that determines how the House will operate this Congress, but like just about everything that has happened since last week, there’s no certainty it will pass – which could plunge the chamber into renewed paralysis. Stay tuned to this blog for the latest on the vote as it happens.
That’s not all that’s going on today:
Joe Biden is making the first visit of a US president to Mexico since 2014, where he’ll discuss topics ranging from trade to climate change to migration with president Andrés Manuel López Obrador. They’ll be joined later in the day by prime minister Justin Trudeau of Canada.
McCarthy and other top Republicans have yet to speak out against yesterday’s January 6-esque assault on Brazil’s government offices by supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro. Top House Democrat Hakeem Jeffries has condemned the attack.