– For the second day in a row, a band of 20. Ultraconservative rioters prevented GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy from winning. The speaker’s gavel, hours after former President. Donald Trump called on House Republicans to support him and “close the deal.”
Between Tuesday and Wednesday, six votes were held. On the House floor to elect the Speaker; Each time. The rebels stuck together and voted for someone else. Denying McCarthy, R-Calif., 218 votes to win.
McCarthy dug deep into both allies and enemies, ensuring. That chaos would reign in the House for the foreseeable future under the new GOP majority.
Setting a seventh speaker vote for Thursday, the House voted 216-214 to adjourn before 8:30 p.m . McCarthy’s four opponents joined Democrats in a failed attempt to hold. The House session Wednesday night: Arizona’s Andy Biggs and Ellie Crane.
Colorado’s Lauren Boebert and Florida’s Matt Gaetz.
Leaving the floor after the sixth failed vote, McCarthy. Said he was “very confident” the fight would work out for him. And that his plan was to “work through it, bring everybody together and solve our problems.”
McCarthy then tried to work out a deal behind closed doors in the Capitol. With some of his closest allies and members of the opposition. But after hours of negotiations, the two sides did not come close to an agreement.
“I’m saying we heard. You know the devil’s details,” Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., a vocal McCarthy critic, said as he left the meeting.
McCarthy told reporters he did not want to move forward. with another vote Wednesday night to continue negotiations. “it’s best to let people work through something else. a vote tonight will make a difference, but there will be a vote in the future,” he said after the huddle.
On Wednesday’s fourth, fifth and sixth ballots, McCarthy. – Who has held the leadership role for the past 14 years – received more than 90% of the 222 GOP members. Earlier in the day, he was nominated by . Repw arren Davidson, R-Ohio, a member of the right-wing Freedom Caucus.
who warned his fellow conservatives that his opposition would hurt their cause.
“We are on the brink of such a destructive debate today. I urge everyone — my fellow Republicans, let cooler, more rational heads prevail. Let us unite as Republicans to elect the next Speaker of the House,” Davidson said. .
But McCarthy’s enemies showed no signs of backing down. By three votes Wednesday. Hey rallied behind conservative Rep. Byron Donalds of Black Florida. Who won a second term in November.
Boebert singled out Donald, his Freedom Caucus colleague, saying. He wasn’t upset after Trump — “my favorite president” — called him to tell him to “knock it off.”
“The president needs to tell Kevin McCarthy. That ‘sir, you don’t have the vote and it’s time to withdraw,'” Boebert told a distracted booth.
Democrats are united behind their candidate, New York Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, first nominated Donalds as McCarthy’s right-wing alternative. On the fourth ballot, highlighting Jeffries’ history-making role. “For the first time in history, two black Americans have been nominated for Speaker of the House,” Roy said.
Members from both sides of the aisle responded with standing ovations.
The roll calls changed on each successive ballot. Donalds defected to McCarthy after voting for him twice. And Rep victoria Spartz, R-Ind., who supported McCarthy. by three votes on Tuesday, voted on Wednesday.
“We have a constitutional duty to elect the Speaker of the House. But until we get enough votes and stop wasting everyone’s time. We need to consider it more of a Republican convention,” Spartz said in a statement. “None of the Republican candidates have these numbers yet. That’s why I voted after all the votes were cast.”
This is the first time in 100 years that a vote for House Speaker went on more than one ballot.
“Sure, it looks messy,” Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., said on the floor to nominate McCarthy. For a fourth ballot, “but democracy is messy by design.”
McCarthy’s opponents, known as Never Kevin, have signaled they are in for the long haul.
“It’s a good thing for democracy,” Norman, one of the Never Kevins, said Wednesday of the chaos on the floor. “And I don’t care what the press says. … I don’t care who supports McCarthy. 20 of us want change. And we’re going to be here until we get it or something happens.”
Still, McCarthy has argued that he won his party’s nomination for speaker in November, won. The support of 9 out of 10 Republicans at his convention. And that the number of his detractors hasn’t increased much.
McCarthy’s allies have vowed to hold the roll call vote until the opposition caves.
“You can’t accommodate a small group that holds you hostage. And that’s what’s happening here — we’re not going to do that,” moderate. Representative Don Bacon of Nebraska. said after Tuesday’s series of votes.
One Democrat suggested he might support McCarthy to end the standoff.
“I was thinking today, ‘Gosh, Kevin McCarthy was a few votes short.’ I wish I could be part of some kind of unity caucus that would vote for him.” Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, told a Spectrum News reporter. “I was going to talk to some of my Republican colleagues about it.”
McCarthy allies have expressed frustration at conservative rabble-rousers for exposing internal GOP. divisions as Republicans take control of the House. after four years in the minority. Without the speaker, House lawmakers cannot be sworn in, committees. cannot be formed and GOP investigations of the Biden administration cannot begin.
, the House of Representatives does not have a functioning parliament until a Speaker is elected.
“Everybody’s upset, excited. The people who are doing this, many of whom I count as good friends. Have to know when to accept [a victory],” Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif. Said of the concessions conservatives took from McCarthy. .
“So take most of the wins and go with it and make it to the next one.”
In the third and final vote Tuesday, 20 GOP defectors all. Cast their ballots for Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a founding member of the right-wing Freedom Caucus. Even though he has endorsed McCarthy and given a nomination speech on his behalf. Jordan later told reporters that he only wanted. To be chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the new Congress.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who is close to Jordan and has supported McCarthy. Said defectors trying to push Jordan into the speaker’s. Office are reckless and alarming.
“Jim Jordan said, ‘I’m supporting Kevin McCarthy. And he went out there on the House floor, said it and voted for him over and over again,” Green told reporters. “Twenty Republicans don’t even respect Jim Jordan enough to respect what he wants to do.”
Extraordinary floor fight pits Trump loyalists against each. Other as Trump makes another bid for the White House. McCarthy, Jordan and Green have been Trump’s biggest allies on Capitol Hill. But they now face off against Trump supporters like Gaetz. And new leaders from the Trump-aligned Freedom Caucus. Biggs and Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry.
Trump endorsed McCarthy for speaker and called on his behalf.
After he spoke with McCarthy, Trump gave a full-throated endorsement Wednesday morning. And urged House Republicans to rally behind him.
“[I]t’s time for all our great Republican House members to vote for Kevin. Close the deal, win,” Trump wrote Wednesday morning in a Truth. Social post that also insulted former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
“Republicans, don’t turn a great victory into a huge and embarrassing defeat. While celebrating it, you deserve it. Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and even a great job – watch!”
McCarthy explored alternative routes to victory. That would need fewer votes, such as allowing. Some critics to abstain, which would lower the number needed to win.
“we’ll find a way to get there. It’s a healthy debate,” McCarthy told reporters. “It might not happen the day we want it to, but it’s going to happen. … at the end of the day we’ll get everybody.”
Bacon warned that if conservatives opposed McCarthy. Delaying House business, moderates would. Have to reach across the aisle to try to reach a deal with Democrats on a consensus speaker.
“You might have some people you can work with. But you go to the top one or two people in the Democratic Party. And start making a deal,” Bacon told reporters.
“If they prove to themselves that they can’t work as part of a team, then we’re going to make that decision. But we’re not there. Kevin still has a lot of runway.”