McCarthy Elected Speaker Of The House After 15 Rounds

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Jan 07, 2023 - 05:19 AM

Update (0030 ET): After a dramatic 14th vote which saw Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) Kevin McCarthy's 14th bid for House Speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has finally won - ending a dramatic impasse.

The vote is still ongoing, but at least five of the GOP holdouts - including Gaetz, voted 'present' on the 15th ballot, giving McCarthy just enough votes to stumble over the finish line.

Interestingly, the House was set to adjourn for the evening, but then something changed and they held a 15th vote.

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Update (2313 ET): After a dramatic Friday evening in the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) failed to clinch the Speakership after 14 rounds of voting, after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) voted 'present' - sending the entire chamber into disarray.

The official count for the vote was:

  • McCarthy: 216
  • Jeffries: 212
  • Jordan:2
  • Biggs: 2

At one point a visibly angry Rep. Mike Rodgers bolted towards Gaetz and had to be restrained.

Gaetz could still flip tonight, but as it stands now, is now pushing for a Monday vote.

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Update (1550ET): The House has adjourned until 10 p.m. ET, with McCarthy telling reporters "We're going to win."

Indeed, things seem tense within the "Never Kevin" camp.

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Update (1400ET): After four days and 13 votes, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has lost his bid for House Speaker yet again.

That said, he's been able to flip 15 holdouts, the latest being Andy Harris of Maryland. During the vote, Harris could be seen standing in the back of the chamber, several rows behind the 6 GOP holdouts.

Harris had been seeking a subcommittee gavel on the appropriations panel, according to CNN's Manu Raju.

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Update (1341ET): Rep. Kevin McCarthy is on track to lose his 12th ballot for House speaker, though he has picked up 14 votes from GOP holdouts.

According to CNN, McCarthy's team sees Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) as their biggest obstacle now, and see him trying to "gin up opposition.'

The seven current holdouts are Gaetz, Biggs, Boebert, Crane, Good, Harris and Rosendale.

Gaetz thinks he can hold back 10 votes from McCarthy, however McCarthy's side thinks they can overcome the opposition by isolating Gaetz - who wasn't invited to negotiations on Wednesday but showed up anyway.

The current bid for House leadership is now the longest speaker contest in 164 years.

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Update (1045ET): The chaos continues! After initial reports that there was a deal, McCarthy walked it back, saying there isn't one, but they are in a 'great place.'

He then started shouting at journalists to get off the call.

Chip Roy has also denied a deal has been reached.

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Update (1035ET): Kevin McCarthy said on today's GOP call that he and holdout leader Chip Roy have struck a deal.

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After losing 11 votes, the most since before the Civil War, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is now confident that a deal for his ascension to House Speaker is imminent.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy passes reporters as he returns to the House chamber on Thursday. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

"We’re going to make progress today, we’re going to shock you," he told reporters ahead of a 10:15 a.m. ET call on Friday.

"We’ll have to see you know we have a couple members who have some family issues," he said when asked about the current framework for a deal, adding "we're going to get it done."

As Punchbowl News reports, however, the situation is 'highly fluid,' to say the least.

As House Republicans enter the fourth day of this internecine struggle, the GOP leadership’s plans seemingly change at a moment’s notice. One minute they’re going to move to adjourn, the next, they’re ready to start another round of voting. At times it seems like significant progress is being made, only for that to turn out to be a mirage.

Yet GOP leaders now believe they’re reaching a tipping point. Either a large bloc of McCarthy’s 20 conservative opponents moves in his direction following yet another round of negotiations or McCarthy’s quest to become speaker may have stalled out permanently.

The House is set to reconvene at Noon, ET.

According to Punchbowl, McCarthy may 'grind it out' and hold votes over the weekend - or as long as it takes until the speaker's race is wrapped up.

"We shouldn’t leave. Why should we leave if we haven’t got our work done?" he told the outlet at 9:45 p.m. Thursday night.

When asked if his allies are pressuring him to step aside in favor of another Republican, such as Majority Leader Steve Scalise, he said "Have you seen any drop [in my support]? But you would’ve thought" that would occur.

"Who else can get to 218?" he added.

"I feel good today, really. I felt very positive yesterday. I feel more positive today. I think we had really good discussions. I think it’s really come to a really good point."

McCarthy is still 18 votes or so shy of becoming speaker.

Rep. Matt Gaetz talks to fellow House members during the second day voting on Wednesday. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

McCarthy's backers who have been working on a deal include Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), French Hill (R-AR), Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Garret Graves (R-LA), Jim Jordan (R-OH), plus Emmer and his chief deputy, Rep. Guy Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania. This team has been burning the midnight oil with conservative hardliners Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX), Scott Perry (R-PA) and Byron Donalds (R-FL).

if Roy is able to reach a deal with the pro-McCarthy faction on the rules package, Roy needs to bring along 10 or so Republicans with him. McCarthy can then try to pressure the final conservative holdouts to move to his side. It’s a high-wire act that needs to be executed impeccably. So far, it hasn’t yielded the results McCarthy has hoped for, obviously. -Punchbowl

The anti-McCarthy crew want, among other things, changes in rules and changes in policy.

"There are some of the others … who want changes in the rules and there are some others who care about policy," said Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) to CNN on Wednesday. "So I think if Steve (Scalise) meets those three needs, he will be able to move forward and take the speakership."

Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina says he won't budge on McCarthy unless he's "willing to shut the government down rather than raising the debt ceiling."

McCarthy can also try to find a few Democrats to form a coalition and cross the aisle in order to edge out the hardline Republicans.