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McCarthy fails in multiple rounds of voting for House speaker

House adjourns after third ballot didn't secure enough votes.
Kevin McCarthy, Elise Stefanik
Posted at 5:55 AM, Jan 03, 2023

Republicans could not agree on who would be the next Speaker of the House by Tuesday evening in Washington.

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempt to replace Nancy Pelosi failed in the first two rounds of voting, with a third ballot's round of voting still failing to secure enough votes.

The House adjourned after the third round attempt after GOP Rep. Tom Cole called for voting to cease until noon ET on Wednesday.

The final vote count totaled 212 for Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, 20 votes for GOP Rep. Jim Jordan and 202 votes for McCarthy.

It takes 218 votes to become speaker and Republicans have 222 members. McCarthy hovered around 203 votes in multiple rounds.

All 212 Democrats voted in favor of Hakeem Jeffries.

McCarthy did not concede, vowing to stay in the race for Speaker of the House for as long as it takes.

Several Republicans said they would not support McCarthy.

Rep. Andy Biggs tweeted on Monday, “I refuse to assist him in his effort to get those votes.” He ran against McCarthy to be the GOP’s leader late in 2022.

“Even after the McCarthy Machine’s attempts to whip votes and smear my name for several weeks, McCarthy is still well short of the 218 threshold,” Biggs tweeted. “Our party still requires new leadership and I will continue to oppose McCarthy for House Speaker.”

Electing a speaker is generally one of the first actions the House must do before organizing for the term. Once a speaker is elected, items such as committee chairs and agendas can be decided.

The speaker of the House also falls just below the vice president on the presidential line of succession.