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US politics


Mike Johnson was elected House Speaker after a turbulent three weeks.

Hopes for AUKUS as US Congress elects new Speaker

After weeks of political chaos, the election of Mike Johnson reduces the risks of a government shutdown and of key legislation around the military pact being left hanging.

  • Updated
  • Matthew Cranston


Representative Mike Johnson is the latest candidate for the speaker’s chair.

‘Hopelessly divided’ Republicans keep US Congress paralysed

Republicans selected Mike Johnson as the next candidate in their struggle to break the gridlock and select a speaker, after Donald Trump torpedoed the last one.

  • Updated
  • David Morgan, Richard Cowan and Makini Brice

This Month

President Joe Biden speaks from the Oval Office of the White House.

Biden warns of ‘conflict and chaos’ spreading

In a major speech, the US president appealed for billions of dollars in funding, saying America cannot let Russia’s Vladimir Putin and militant group Hamas win.

  • Matthew Cranston
Biden Albanese

Congress squabbling hangs over Albanese’s US visit

Wrangling over the US speakership is delaying plans to finalise Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s program for his trip to America, which includes lobbying for AUKUS.

  • Andrew Tillett
Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell speaks at the Economic Club of New York.

Powell says three factors are behind the bond yield spike

US Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell explains why longer-term bond yields are rising, including views of a resilient economy and fiscal deficit concerns.

  • Matthew Cranston
Jim Jordan failed on the first ballot to win the US House speakership.

Trump-backed Republican loses US Speaker vote

Jim Jordan, who is backed by Donald Trump, must overcome deep Republican divisions in a second scheduled ballot, as the US House remains leaderless.

  • David Morgan, Makini Brice and Moira Warburton
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise talks to reporters after pulling out of the speakership.

Scalise quits US Speaker race after Trump jibes

The Republican legislator failed to get enough votes to secure an overall majority in the chamber, leaving Congress in chaos again.

  • Luke Broadwater
Australian Ambassador to the US Kevin Rudd has strongly criticised US export controls.

Rudd slams ‘crazy’ US red tape slowing AUKUS

The ambassador to the US, Kevin Rudd, has criticised America stalling on easing export rules crucial for progress of delivering Australia nuclear submarines.

  • Matthew Cranston
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and National Unity leader Benny Gantz.

Israel vows to wipe Hamas ‘off the face of the earth’

The Israeli military discusses targets; terrible new reports of children’s deaths; antisemitic charges heard in Sydney court. Here’s how the day unfolded.

  • Updated
  • Emma Connors
US House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana, speaks with media.

Republicans back Scalise for Speaker as clock ticks down

The Louisiana congressman now faces a vote by the full chamber to fill the leadership vacuum following the ousting of Kevin McCarthy last week.

  • Updated
  • Matthew Cranston
Israeli has been pounding Gaza with missiles in retaliation for the unprecedented Hamas attacks on the weekend.

Biden’s oil reserve bet looks shaky as Israel pounds Gaza

The decision to sell from the US strategic reserve could come unstuck, amid fears the Middle East conflict could push prices higher and accelerate inflation.

  • Matthew Cranston
Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy says changes need to be made to US Iran relationship to fund Israel’s war.

Israel-Hamas war adds pressure on US Congress to get back to work

While the US has agreed to provide Israel $60 billion in military aid over 10 years, Republicans are under pressure to ensure Congress releases the funding.

  • Matthew Cranston
Gridlock in Congress especially leading into an election year could spell disaster for government debt costs.

US Congressional chaos could drive Treasury yields even higher

Bond markets are not pricing in the true cost of government debt amid put-of-control government spending and chaos in Congress, say experts.

  • Matthew Cranston

How Canberra can ride out the Congress car crash

Australia has to invest in long-term relationships, many of which rely on institutions that remind us of the glory days of American democracy. 

  • The AFR View
Former President Donald Trump knows the voters don’t want to see the Washington meat grinder in action.

Why Trump steers clear of the Washington sausage machine

This week’s political assassination of Speaker Kevin McCarthy has weakened the Republicans – and Trump knows it.

  • Joe Hockey
Republican representative Matt Gaetz speaks to the media outside the US Capitol in Washington.

This is why Matt Gaetz just blew up Congress

The hardliner likes to portray himself as one of the last Republicans standing who cares about out-of-control government spending and the resulting build-up of sovereign debt.

  • Updated
  • Matthew Cranston
President Donald Trump.

Could Trump really replace McCarthy as Speaker?

If removing the House Speaker for the first time in history wasn’t interesting enough, imagine appointing a former president facing 91 criminal charges.

  • Updated
  • Matthew Cranston
The stopgap funding bill will keep the government running until November 17.

Stopgap fails to discipline US deficit and debt

The Trumpian isolationist tone to seemingly the only loser in the funding deal, aid for Ukraine, sums up the interest in getting on top of the budget problem.

  • The AFR View
Matt Gaetz: “I am relentless, and I will continue to pursue this objective.”

‘Trumpiest congressman’ Matt Gaetz is taking aim at House speaker

The far-right firebrand said he would file a motion to oust Kevin McCarthy this week after the Republican leader relied on Democrats to avert a government shutdown.

  • Updated
  • Alicia Diaz
Joe Biden.

Biden pleads with Congress not to end US support for Ukraine

America has provided more than $175.7 billion to the war-torn country in the face of Russia’s invasion.

  • David Millward