Kevin McCarthy fails House speaker bid after 19 Republicans vote against him twice – first multi-ballot speaker election in 100 years

News & Politics

For the first time in a century, the bid for House speaker went to a second vote – and then a third. Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) failed to secure enough support during the first and second ballots on Tuesday afternoon, making this the first multiple-ballot vote since 1923.

The first vote

Nineteen Republicans voted against McCarthy during the first round, with many voting for Representatives Andy Biggs of Arizona or Jim Jordan of Ohio. Of 434 total votes, Jefferies received 212, McCarthy 203, Biggs 10, and Jordan six.

As a result of McCarthy’s failed bid, another vote was held on Tuesday. To determine the next House speaker, Republicans who voted against McCarthy will be forced to either not participate in a subsequent vote, unify behind another nominee, or support McCarthy.

During both votes, House Democrats remained united and overwhelmingly supported New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D). To win, McCarthy needed to secure at least 218 of the 222 seats held by Republicans.

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The second vote

After the initial vote, Jordan gave a nomination speech for McCarthy, urging Republicans to unify.

“The differences between Joyce and Jordan or Biggs and Bacon, they pale in comparison to the differences between us and the left,” Jordan stated. “We need to rally around him, come together.”

In response to Jordan’s speech, Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida also gave a speech, during which he again nominated Jordan.

“Maybe the right person for the job of speaker of the House isn’t someone who wants it so bad,” Gaetz said. “Maybe the right person for the job of speaker of the House isn’t someone who has sold shares of himself for more than a decade to get it.”

“Maybe Jim Jordan is the right person for speaker of the House because he is not beholden to the lobbyists and special interests who have corrupted this place and corrupted this nation under the leadership of both Republicans and Democrats,” Gaetz added.

As a result, Biggs supporters shifted their votes to Jordan during the second round. Jordan received 19 votes, and McCarthy did not gain any new supporters.

Once again, House members gathered on Tuesday around 4 p.m. Eastern to conduct a third vote. As of this article’s publication, the House speaker has not yet been determined.

What’s the background?

In a closed-door meeting before the House speaker bid on Tuesday, tensions were already running high. Representative Bob Good (R) of Virginia called the meeting “very hostile.”

“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.

Good was one of five Republicans who publicly proclaimed ahead of the vote that he would not support McCarthy.

“This meeting wasn’t about trying to inform people about what it takes to get to 218 and ask for what you want,” Representative Scott Perry (R) of Pennsylvania told reporters. “This was about a beat down and a simulated unity in the room that doesn’t really exist.”

Texas Representative Chip Roy (R) told Fox News Digital that Alabama Representative Mike Rogers (R) during the closed-door meeting “threatened” some Republicans who did not want to vote for McCarthy.

“It’s been public information out there that Mike Rogers threatened to say that he was going to kick those of us off of any committee to dare to challenge the coronation of the speaker. And the reality is, that was a threat, and it was not received well by a lot of people in the room,” said Roy.

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