The incoming Republican leaders of the House’s top committees focused on national security said the delayed effort to elect a new speaker of the House is impacting their panels’ oversight duties.

Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), Mike Turner (R-Ohio) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the top GOP members on the Armed Services, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs panels, respectively, reiterated their support for Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) bid for speaker, who failed to secure the leadership role in several more rounds of votes on Thursday.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee

“As the incoming chairs of the national security committees, we strongly support Kevin McCarthy for speaker. McCarthy’s Commitment to America agenda outlines a stronger approach to countering China, a plan to investigate the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, and how a Republican majority will hold this administration accountable,” Rogers, Turner and McCaul wrote in a joint statement on Thursday morning. “The Biden administration is going unchecked and there is no oversight of the White House, State Department, Department of Defense, or the intelligence community. We cannot let personal politics place the safety and security of the United States at risk.”

The House can’t form committees, appoint members to panels and subcommittees and affirm leadership roles until a speaker is in place.

Thursday saw the seventh, eighth and ninth attempts at electing a new speaker, as of Defense Daily’s deadline, with McCarthy once again unable to secure the 218 votes required to take the gavel. 

The California Republican has faced strong opposition from a group of about 20 conservative lawmakers, with the speaker vote now headed to a 10th ballot vote for the first time since 1859. 

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), who is set to chair the new Select Committee on China, aired his frustrations over the protracted speaker vote on Wednesday, after he had to cancel a meeting with Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to discuss “matters in the Indo-Pacific” because he did not have access yet to the House’s SCIF, or sensitive compartmented information facility. 

“I’m informed by House security that technically I don’t have a clearance. I’m a member of the Intel Committee. I’m on the Armed Services Committee and I can’t meet in the SCIF to conduct essential business. My point is we have work to do that we can’t do right now,” Gallagher said during a press conference. “We’ve seen what happens, over the last two years, when deterrence fails, when weakness invites aggression. It’s up to this Congress to restore deterrence, to restore peace through strength. But we aren’t able to do that vital work until actually get past the speaker vote, populate our committees and start getting to work.”

House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Democrats also cited impacts on the panel’s work due to the delay in getting a speaker in place.

“Kevin McCarthy & the MAGA extremists holding the speakership hostage aren’t just creating chaos for the Republican party. They’ve hampered the ability of Congress to function in its oversight role, presenting a clear threat to national security,” HASC Democrats wrote in a social media post. “The result: Members of Congress can’t receive classified information until the Members are sworn in, leaving us in the dark on sensitive developments worldwide and unable to perform the oversight duties that the American people elected us to perform. “This is no way to lead the House as we face monumental challenges abroad that threaten Americans here at home. This is no way to govern the country. It’s time for Republicans to stop the chaos and elect a Speaker.”