McCarthy wins House speakership in dramatic 15-round voting marathon
McCarthy picked up 15 votes from GOP holdouts on Friday, the fourth day of voting, and clinched the speakership early Saturday
House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy captured the House speakership in dramatic fashion early Saturday, winning enough votes on a historic 15th ballot when 20 renegade Republicans changed their votes under enormous pressure after winning significant concessions about how Congress will operate going forward.
The final vote was 216-212-6.
In total, 15 of the conservative GOP holdouts switched to vote for McCarthy and 6 voted present.
The weeklong drama captured on national television exposed deep divisions within the Republican caucus that are certain to resurface throughout the 118th Congress, and it ended with all the drama of a Hollywood movie.
McCarthy won about an hour after he lost on a 14th ballot by a single vote when some of his renegade colleagues voted differently than expected.
The public witnessed moments of tension among the GOP conference as McCarthy, who was just one vote short of the speakership, walked over to speak with Colorado GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert and Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who both voted present. While the 14th round vote tally was being finalized, Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama had to be restrained after he confronted holdout Gaetz and a flustered McCarthy dashed into the seats.
Kevin McCarthy approaches Gaetz and Boebert because he needed 216 votes to win. pic.twitter.com/o6VBsbwVVV
— The Republican Accountability Project (@AccountableGOP) January 7, 2023
Rodgers lunged at Gaetz? pic.twitter.com/THHpZA4XjQ
— Elizabeth Wachsberg (@EWachsberg) January 7, 2023
Republicans even began the process of adjourning for the night, exhausted and expecting more marathon negotiations ahead. But then suddenly Gaetz came down to McCarthy and suggested there was a deal for the holdouts to vote present, reducing the number required for a win.
At that moment, many Republicans, who voted to adjourn rushed down to the clerks and change their votes to keep the session open so the historic 15th ballot could take place shortly after midnight.
The deal followed a week of marathon negotiations, that at times involved former President Donald Trump, and spewed vitriol on television, and in private meetings, as Republicans tried to work out differences over the rules governing how votes will take place over the next two years.
Most of the original 20 holdouts said their primary concern was to change the way Congress operates so that they could begin to reduce the massive spending that has grown the national debt to nearly $32 trillion. The stalemate also kept members from being sworn in and constituents from having a lawful representative to answer their concerns or calls.
The concessions McCarthy made to win over more support from conservatives in the GOP conference included reducing the number of members needed to initiate a speaker recall to one, changes to the chamber’s appropriations process and limiting McCarthy and his super PAC’s meddling in House GOP primaries. These changes are reflected in the rules package that’s under consideration.
(TLB) published this article with permission of John Solomon at Just the News. Click Here to read about the staff at Just the News
Header featured image (edited) credit: Kevin McCarthy celebrates after lawmakers voted him to be the next speaker of the House of Representatives on the 15th vote. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA
Emphasis and Twitter video content added by (TLB) editors
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