It’s not often that you get the chance to point to Pennsylvania as a case study in comity and consensus building. But with the U.S. House seemingly in permanent residence in Dante’s fifth circle with its repeated failures to elect a new speaker, it’s worth taking a moment to zoom in on the Keystone State.

Earlier this week, Republicans and Democrats in the narrowly divided, 203-member lower chamber struck a deal to install a compromise candidate as the House’s presiding officer, heading off what most expected to be a fiery floor fight on the same day that lawmakers took the oath of office to begin the 2023-24 legislative session.

State Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Berks County Democrat-turned-independent, was handed the gavel after the chamber’s Democrats raised objections when Republicans, who hold a narrow — and likely temporary — 101-99 majority, tried to press ahead with electing a new speaker.

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