On Wednesday afternoon, the House reconvened to conduct a fourth, fifth, and sixth round of votes for the speaker position after Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) failed three times yesterday to gather enough votes. As a result, Tuesday marked the first time in a century that the House speaker bid went to a multiple-ballot vote.
After hours of negotiations Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, McCarthy again failed to secure the House speaker position before the House adjourned at approximately 4:30 p.m. EST. The House will reconvene Wednesday at 8 p.m. for a seventh vote.
During every round of votes, House Democrats unified behind their nomination of Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D) of New York.
On Wednesday afternoon, ahead of the fourth ballot, Representative Mike Gallagher (R) of Wisconsin nominated McCarthy. He added that the voting process was “messy by design” and referred to it as a “feature, not a bug of our system.”
Texas Representative Chip Roy (R) stood up to nominate Florida Representative Byron Donalds (R). Roy argued that the American people are tired of the status quo and “want a new face, new vision, and new leadership.”
Donalds used his first two votes yesterday to back McCarthy but switched his vote to Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on the third ballot. Then, on Wednesday, Donalds voted for himself during all three rounds.
The 20 Republicans who previously voted for Jordan voted for Donalds in Wednesday’s votes. Representative Victoria Spartz of Indiana (R), who previously voted for McCarthy three times, voted “present” three times on Wednesday, leaving McCarthy with only 201 votes.
“The process should be frustrating, but it’s important for us that we have this communication so we actually get it done,” Spartz told the New York Times. Spartz noted that she supports McCarthy, “but ultimately, he needs to be able to address the concerns of other people.”
Lawmakers will continue to gather in the House to conduct subsequent votes until a candidate secures a majority and a new speaker is named.
What’s the background?
During the first vote on Tuesday, 19 Republicans voted for candidates other than McCarthy, blocking his victory. As a result, McCarthy, who needed 218 votes to secure the position, only obtained 203 of the 434 votes. The second ballot, conducted later that day, produced a similar result.
By the third ballot, 20 Republicans moved to block McCarthy’s bid by voting for Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), even though Jordan has consistently supported McCarthy.
Representative Bob Good (R) of Virginia, who declared ahead of the voting that he would not support McCarthy, stated that a hostile, early Tuesday, closed-door meeting further divided the party’s votes.
“The meeting was very hostile, and I don’t think it did anything to persuade those who are inclined to vote against Kevin McCarthy,” Good told Fox News Digital.
Before the House convened on Wednesday, Texas Representative Chip Roy (R) joined “The Glenn Beck Program” to discuss the state of negotiations and why Republican Freedom Caucus members were refusing to support McCarthy.
The vote remains deadlocked, according to Roy, because McCarthy refused to agree to crucial proposals from the Freedom Caucus that would prevent legislation like the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill from being jammed through the House.
He noted that the Freedom Caucus members are committed to stopping bills from being created during closed-door meetings and brought to the floor for a vote without adequate time for review.
When asked if Democrats would be willing to rally behind McCarthy to end the deadlocked voting, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D) of California told the New York Times, “This is a problem of their own making. This is called leadership. They should be able to work it out. Don’t put this at the Democrats’ doorstep.”