All the things the House can’t do without a speaker

The House of Representatives is without a speaker for the second time this year, grinding many functions of the legislative body to a halt.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was ousted as House speaker in a historic 216-210 vote, which saw eight Republicans join all present Democrats in the motion to vacate. Following the vote, McCarthy said he would not seek the speakership again, setting up a battle in the House Republican Conference. House Republicans plan on voting for a new House speaker on Oct. 11, meaning the body will be without its constitutionally mandated leader.
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) is serving as speaker pro tempore of the House until a new speaker can be elected, but he is only an interim leader of the chamber and does not have the same powers as an elected speaker. McHenry was selected as speaker pro tempore after being at the top of McCarthy’s secret list for succession to the speakership.
No legislative function can occur on the House floor until a new speaker is elected. No votes or any other basic functions can occur on the floor of the House until the election has been resolved.
While this does not cause any immediate problems, a prolonged speaker election could cause trouble, with the government set to shut down if spending bills are not approved by Nov. 16. The longest vacancy the House has had for a speakership dates back to the 1800s, when the chamber took 133 ballots from December 1855 to Februar …