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Recap: House adjourns as speaker vote stretches past 11th ballot, most since before the Civil War

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WASHINGTON –The House of Representatives made dubious history Thursday, failing on the 11th ballot to elect a speaker as an acrimonious stalemate that has paralyzed the chamber dragged on. That’s the most ballots cast in this normally pro forma election since before the Civil War.

The House adjourned Thursday night until noon Friday, hoping to buy more time for negotiations as GOP lawmakers expressed muted optimism that a deal was getting closer with a rebellious Republican faction to install GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy in return for significant concessions.

“It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” a relaxed McCarthy told reporters after the adjournment. “If we finish well, we’ll be very successful.”

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McCarthy has now failed in 11 ballots since Tuesday, as a solid core of some 20 Republicans say they will continue to oppose him because he is too much a part of the establishment. A 12th ballot could take place as early as noon Friday.

“We’re at a Reagan moment — “trust but verify,” tweeted Pennsylvania Republican Scott Perry, one of the 20. “The devil is in the details, and we’ll take our time to ensure it’s right, not easy. One way or another, the status quo must go.”

In the meantime, the House remains without a speaker, leaving members-elect unable to do much beyond voting on McCarthy’s fate and answering phones from constituents they can’t help yet. They can’t form committees, conduct hearings or demand federal agencies answer their requests for assistance.

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GOP opponents have sunk his attempts to get enough votes to win the job. The efforts to forge a compromise could weaken the job — if he gets it — and show that governing the Republican-led House is going to be challenging this year, with infighting consuming what’s been a simple one-ballot vote for the past hundred years.

Day 3 takeaways: Speaker stalemate drags on as ‘never Kevin’ Republicans say they can’t trust Kevin McCarthy

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McCarthy has failed to meet the threshold needed to become speaker for a series of ballots since Tuesday.

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Here are the latest developments:

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  • Back again: The House convened after a night and morning of talks among McCarthy, his allies and his enemies, including the prospect of concessions from McCarthy that would give Republican rebels more power in the new Congress.

  • A McCarthy comeback?  McCarthy has been nominated a total of 10 times (three each on Tuesday and Wednesday and four times on Thursday – so far). The Republican was the frontrunner for the speakership, but a bloc of Republicans have refused to back the California representative.

  • What will happen on day three? Members will continue to vote. The vote will last until a speaker is selected. The House remains paralyzed with members-elect not sworn in, lacking security clearances and the lower chamber remains unable to conduct any legislative business.

Day one: House adjourns without a new speaker as McCarthy loses three rounds of voting

Day two: ‘Groundhog Day’: House adjourns without a speaker as McCarthy loses round six

Table of Contents

House divided over speaker’s job votes to adjourn – barely

For the second night in a row, an angry and closely divided House voted to adjourn by only a very few votes, as Republicans sought more time to reach a deal on the speaker’s job.

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As lawmakers shouted at each other, Republicans won a mostly party-line vote over Democrats by a margin of 219-213.

On Wednesday night, Democratic objections to adjournment forced a vote that passed by only 216-214.

– David Jackson

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Yet again, votes for speaker split among several nominees

GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy has once again failed to obtain the number of votes needed to win the speakership in the fifth ballot of the day and eleventh ballot since Tuesday. 

McCarthy again received 200 votes (same as the last ballot), falling 18 votes behind the number needed for the speakership. Florida GOP Rep. Byron Donalds received 12 votes, one fewer than the last ballot; Oklahoma GOP Rep. Kevin Hern again received seven votes and former president Donald Trump received one vote from Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz. One member voted present.

All 212 Democrats backed Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries once again but that’s enough for him to win. 

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  – Rachel Looker 

McCarthy loses fifth ballot of day

GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy appears to have failed once again to obtain the number of votes needed to win the speakership in the fifth ballot of the day. This is the 11th ballot held since Tuesday and the fifth on Thursday alone.

Amid reports that negotiations on a resolution are heating up, it’s unclear whether the House will proceed to a 12th ballot or adjourn until Friday.

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– Rachel Looker

Eleventh ballot for speaker gets underway

The House headed into an 11th ballot for speaker – the fifth ballot today – with no end in sight.

Arkansas Republican Rep. French Hill nominated McCarthy again for the 11th ballot and also expressed gratitude towards the Clerk of the House, Cheryl Johnson for facilitating the votes, getting a standing ovation from all members on the floor.

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On the Democratic side, Colorado Rep. Joe Neguse, unsurprisingly, nominated Jeffries again. Neguse praised Jeffries as “the man who has been the lead vote getter ten times and counting to be the speaker of the House.”

Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, formally nominated former President Donald Trump for the first time after voting for him earlier today on the seventh ballot, saying Trump could “make the House of Representatives great again.”

And Virginia GOP Rep. Bob Good nominated Oklahoma GOP Rep. Kevin Hern again as a candidate “against the status quo.”

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– Ken Tran

Same as before: Historic tenth vote changes little for McCarthy

The historic tenth ballot for House speaker – the first such vote since just before the Civil War – produced results similar to the first nine.

McCarthy carried 200 votes, 18 short of the majority he needs to win the speaker’s race.

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Byron Donalds received 13 votes and Kevin Hern took seven, a decrease for Donalds and an increase for Hern over previous ballots. Republican Victoria Spartz again voted “present.”

As with the previous nine ballots, Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries took all 212 votes from his party.

As members voted, leaders met in private to negotiate some way out of this.

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However it works, there will have to be an 11th vote, at least.

– David Jackson

How the process works: What happens after McCarthy loses multiple speaker votes? We explain

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McCarthy appears to lose again, this time in the double digits

In the House’s tenth ballot for speaker, McCarthy has appeared to lose again, for the tenth time.

Despite multiple concessions today made to his opponents, there has still been next to no movement in the vote counts. The Republican holdouts remain adamant in their opposition to the California Republican.

Today marks the most times the House has voted on a speaker this week at four ballots. Next up, possibly an eleventh ballot or a motion to adjourn.

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— Ken Tran

Who is the House GOP leader?: Kevin McCarthy was once rejected for a House internship. Now he could become the next speaker

Who is Kevin Hern?

The latest Kevin McCarthy dissident to be nominated for House speaker is a former Oklahoma businessman who was first elected in 2018 and has built a reputation as a reliable Republican conservative.

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Rep. Kevin Hern, who was put into nomination by Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., owned some two dozen McDonald’s franchises before entering politics. He won a 2018 special election to replace Rep. Jim Bridenstine, who had resigned to become NASA administrator.

The new chairman of the Republican Study Committee, Hern said this week that “strong conservative leadership has never been more important than today.”

– David Jackson

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How the process works: What happens after McCarthy loses multiple speaker votes? We explain

When did the House take multiple ballots to elect a speaker?

Boebert nominates Hern as House votes a 10th time

Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert again nominated Rep. Kevin Hern for speaker, his third nomination of the day.

The House has voted four times Thursday, as the GOP continues to negotiate behind the scenes as to who will hold the speaker’s gavel in the Republican-held House.

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–Candy Woodall

McCarthy standoff: A visual guide to a House speaker deadlock not seen for a century

US Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) walks on the House floor as voting continues for new speaker at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 5, 2023.

US Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) walks on the House floor as voting continues for new speaker at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 5, 2023.

Luna nominates Donalds in 10th round of voting

Rep.-elect Anna Paulina Luna of Florida nominated Rep. Byron Donalds in the 10th round of voting, telling Democrats they will never hold the gavel in a House with a Republican majority.

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In short remarks, she also said 10 votes for speaker did not indicate dysfunction.

–Candy Woodall

Who is Byron Donalds?: Meet Republicans’ alternative to Kevin McCarthy in House speaker vote

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U.S. Rep.-elect Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) delivers remarks in the House chamber during the third day of elections for speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol on January 5, 2023 in Washington, DC.

U.S. Rep.-elect Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) delivers remarks in the House chamber during the third day of elections for speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol on January 5, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Aguilar nominates Jeffries for the tenth ballot

Aguilar returned to the podium to nominate Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries for the tenth ballot for speaker but not before commending Rep.-elect Juan Ciscomani’s nomination speech and earning a standing ovation from all members on the House floor.

“It is our hope that this chamber gets down to the business so he (Ciscomani) and all the new members in this chamber can be sworn in to do the work of the people,” said Aguilar to applause from Democrats and Republicans alike.

“That’s why House Democrats stand united again on this ballot to make sure that Hakeem Jeffries is the lead vote getter in this chamber,” Aguilar said.

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— Ken Tran

Who is Jeffries?: What to know about the Brooklyn Rep. set to replace Pelosi

Ciscomani nominates McCarthy in 10th nomination

Rep.-elect Juan Ciscomani of Arizona nominated Rep. Kevin McCarthy in his 10th attempt to win the speakership.

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The nomination launched the fourth vote Thursday after no candidate in either party received enough votes to become House speaker.

The 10th ballot marked the most rounds needed to elect a speaker since just before the Civil War.

— Candy Woodall

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How the process works: What happens after McCarthy loses multiple speaker votes? We explain

U.S. Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ) delivers remarks in the House chamber during the third day of elections for speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol on January 05, 2023 in Washington, DC.

U.S. Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ) delivers remarks in the House chamber during the third day of elections for speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol on January 05, 2023 in Washington, DC.

The ninth vote: McCarthy loses a vote, now at 200

The third vote Thursday – ninth overall – saw a very slight loss for Kevin McCarthy, who fell from 201 votes to 200 because of an absent member.

McCarthy’s Republican opponents again split up their votes: 17 for Byron Donalds and three for Kevin Hern. Republican Victoria Spartz once again voted “present.”

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No votes for Donald Trump this time around.

Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries again claimed 212 votes from his party.

On to a 10th ballot, the most since just before the civil war.

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– David Jackson

Who is the House GOP leader?: Kevin McCarthy was once rejected for a House internship. Now he could become the next speaker

Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., hugs Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., after nominating him for Speaker of the House before the eighth round of voting in the House chamber.

Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., hugs Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., after nominating him for Speaker of the House before the eighth round of voting in the House chamber.

House breaks 100-year-old record in ninth vote

Rep. Kevin McCarthy appeared to lose a ninth time in his bid for speaker, with the House breaking a 100-year-old record set in 1923 when it took nine rounds of voting to pick a winner.

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McCarthy’s run for speaker appears to have been blocked nine times by 20 conservative members who say he’s not conservative enough and they don’t trust him.

The House GOP leader and his 200 allies continued to talk with his detractors throughout the rounds of voting today.

McCarthy’s run marks the third time since 1856 that a speaker wasn’t elected on the first ballot.

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It took late Reps. Frederick Gillett, R-Mass., nine rounds to win in 1923 and Nathaniel Banks 133 rounds to win in 1856.

–Candy Woodall

What can the House do without a speaker?: Occupy offices, field calls, talk. Not much else.

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Boebert makes a surprise fourth nomination: Kevin Hern

GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert made a surprise fourth nomination right after the clerk prepared to start roll call on the ninth ballot, nominating Oklahoma Rep. Kevin Hern.

“We have been accused of not having a plan while we have presented many many plans and even presenting two plans simultaneously right now,” said Boebert. “I’m voting for Kevin Hern, the gentleman from Oklahoma.”

On the eighth ballot for speaker, Boebert, along with Oklahoma Rep.-elect Josh Brechen voted for Hern.

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— Ken Tran

Republican House control: Despite a poor midterm, the GOP cobbled enough wins to flip the House. How did they do it?

McCarthy dissidents nominate Donalds again

Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., became the latest GOP member to nominate Florida Rep. Byron Donalds for the speaker’s gavel. The Florida lawmaker emerged as an alternative speaker candidate during Wednesday’s votes.

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Rosendale told his colleagues that it was a “privilege” to serve with them despite their differences in opinions, before touting the debate the chamber has had over electing a speaker as healthy.

“We have had more discussion and debate over the last three days than I have participated in on this floor for the last two years. And it’s healthy,” Rosendale said. “It absolutely promotes the collegiality that everyone is trying to obtain.”

— Sarah Elbeshbishi

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How the process works: What happens after McCarthy loses multiple speaker votes? We explain

Ted Lieu, D-Calif. shakes hands with Hakeem Jeffries, D-Calif., after nominating Jeffries for House speaker.

Ted Lieu, D-Calif. shakes hands with Hakeem Jeffries, D-Calif., after nominating Jeffries for House speaker.

Jeffries nominated again for the ninth time

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif, nominated Jeffries for the ninth time on behalf of House Democrats.

“Democrats stand united and ready to get to work on behalf of the American people under the leadership of Hakeem Jeffries,” said Lieu. “Vote after vote, nomination after nomination, Democrats are united.”

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House Democrats have unanimously backed Jeffries for the speakership for the past eight ballots with Jeffries earning 212 votes in all of them.

— Ken Tran

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., right, talks with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., during the eighth vote in the House chamber as the House meets for the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., right, talks with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., during the eighth vote in the House chamber as the House meets for the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

Nehls gives McCarthy ninth nomination

Rep. Troy Nehls nominated Rep. Kevin McCarthy for a ninth time in the GOP leader’s bid to be speaker.

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McCarthy has been blocked eight times by 20 conservative members who make up about 10% of the caucus.

If McCarthy loses on the ninth ballot, he will tie a 100-year-old record currently owned by late Rep. Frederick Gillett, R-Mass., who won his speaker bid in 1923 after nine rounds of voting.

— Candy Woodall

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Stuck in a moment: McCarthy does not pick up votes on the 8th ballot

The eighth ballot went no better for McCarthy, as the official House tally shows him still stuck on 201 votes.

Today’s votes are taking on a pro forma quality, taking up time as Republicans negotiate in private.

This round did see a few changes among McCarthy’s opponents.

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While 17 dissidents again voted for Bryon Donalds,: Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma received two votes, and Donald Trump got one. Republican Victoria Spartz again voted “present.”

Per usual, Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries took all 212 votes from his party.

On to a 9th ballot, the first such vote in a century.

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– David Jackson

More: Kevin McCarthy was once rejected for a House internship. Now he could become the next speaker

McCarthy close to breaking record

Rep. Kevin McCarthy is close to tying a 100-year record he doesn’t want to own.

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After eight consecutive losses in his bid for House speaker, McCarthy could match the nine voting rounds it took Frederick Gillett, R-Mass., to win the position in 1923.

Anything beyond and he’d eclipse that historic record.

The most votes it took to elect a speaker was in 1856 when Republican Rep. Nathaniel Banks won after 133 rounds of voting.

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McCarthy’s bid marks the third time in history a speaker wasn’t elected on the first ballot.

— Candy Woodall

Explained: What happens after McCarthy loses multiple speaker votes? Here’s how the process works.

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McCarthy appears to lose speakership again, for the eighth time

For the eighth time, McCarthy appears to have lost his bid for the speakership.

After the seventh ballot, the House immediately moved to an eighth ballot, but there has been very little movement so far among McCarthy’s detractors.

It is unclear if the House will move to a ninth vote or adjourn.

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– Ken Tran

House of Representatives reading clerk Tylease Alli calls the roll during the eighth round of voting for speaker in the House chamber as the House meets for the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

House of Representatives reading clerk Tylease Alli calls the roll during the eighth round of voting for speaker in the House chamber as the House meets for the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

Boebert votes for another Kevin as House speaker

No not that Kevin.

Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who staunchly opposes Kevin McCarthy as speaker, voted instead for Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, who wasn’t officially nominated for the speaker bid.

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It was the first vote for Hern and the first time in two days Boebert switched her vote from Rep. Byron Donalds.

–Candy Woodall

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., talks with Rep. Andy Ogles, R-Tenn., before the eighth round of voting for speaker as the House meets for the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., talks with Rep. Andy Ogles, R-Tenn., before the eighth round of voting for speaker as the House meets for the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

Biggs, former speaker candidate, nominates Donalds

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., a McCarthy opponent who was a candidate for speaker at the start of the week, gave the latest nominating speech for Byron Donalds – but spent most of it attacking President Joe Biden and the Democrats.

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Biggs criticized Democrats for mocking the Republicans’ failures to elect a speaker, though some GOP members have also showed disdain for how things are going.

The Arizona Republican said he and allies want a change.

“We’re on a sub-optimal path,’ Biggs said. “It has to change.”

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– David Jackson

Democrats nominate Jeffries for the eighth ballot

Democrats changed things around for the eighth ballot with Democratic minority whip Rep. Katherine Clark nominating Jeffries to the speakership for the eighth time. California Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar had handled the previous seven nominating speeches.

Clark opened her nominating speech by saying “212” seven times, referring to Jeffries’ vote count in the past seven ballots where he earned unanimous support from House Democrats.

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“Two hundred twelve House Democrats stand united behind our leader because Hakeem Jeffries stands united for the American people,” said Clark, pointing out how the House has yet to conduct business without a speaker. “The historic dysfunction we are seeing, this intra-party fight the American people have been drawn into is imperiling our national security.”

– Ken Tran

Gallagher: Biggest roadblock for McCarthy ‘basic trust’

GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin told reporters outside the House floor Thursday that McCarthy has made a “persuasive case” with the concessions he has agreed upon.

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“The biggest roadblock, I don’t know I mean (it) seems to be just basic trust,” he said.

“This is sort of weird,” he continued. “We started off with two people (running for speaker), now we have like 13.”

– Rachel Looker

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Ballot 8 begins: McCarthy is nominated again

The House quickly moved to an eighth speaker vote, though there is no end in sight.

Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., nominated McCarthy by calling for party unity, and noted that Congress cannot do basic functions as long as this deadlock remains, such as declare war in case of attack. Mast, a veteran, choked up when discussing the sacrifices that so many Americans have made over the years.

McCarthy “will give us an opportunity to right the course,” Mast told fellow Republicans, but there’s still no evidence he has the votes to prevail.

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– David Jackson

‘More difficult to trust’: GOP members lack faith in McCarthy

As the House wrapped up its seventh failed ballot to elect a speaker, Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry, a key voice against electing House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy as speaker, went to Twitter to reaffirm his unyielding position.

“A deal is NOT done,” Perry wrote. “When confidences are betrayed and leaks are directed, it’s even more difficult to trust.  Totally unsat. I will not yield to the status quo.”

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Perry also reiterated his lack of trust in McCarthy, referring to the leaked list of concessions from McCarthy to the House Freedom Caucus.

– Sarah Elbeshbishi

Official tally: McCarthy stuck on 201 votes – and Trump gets one vote

The first speaker vote of Thursday yielded the same basic result as the first six ballots over the past two days: Kevin McCarthy doesn’t have the numbers to become speaker.

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The Republican leader again recorded 201 votes, according to the official House tally. This despite overnight negotiations in which McCarthy forces talked about various concessions to his opponents.

Anti-McCarthy Republicans voted for someone else. One, Matt Gaetz, cast his ballot for Donald Trump, even though the ex-president has repeatedly said he is not interested in the job and has in fact endorsed McCarthy.

Nineteen other Republicans again voted for Byron Donalds. Another Republican, Victoria Spartz, again voted “present.”

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As with the six previous votes, Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries led the field with 212 votes, but he and his party lack the majority needed to make him speaker.

– David Jackson

Who is McCarthy?: Kevin McCarthy was once rejected for a House internship. Now he could become the next speaker

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Trump gets his first vote for speaker

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who promoted Donald Trump for speaker of the House last year, followed through Thursday and cast a vote for the ex-president.

Technically, the speaker of the House does not have to be a member of Congress, but Trump has repeatedly said he is not interested in the job; instead, he has endorsed McCarthy and urged Gaetz and others to drop their opposition to the Republican leader.

It is Trump’s first vote in the seven ballots the House has cast in a futile effort to elect a speaker.

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– David Jackson

How the process works: What happens after McCarthy loses multiple speaker votes? We explain

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., left, talks with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., in the House chamber on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., left, talks with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., in the House chamber on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

McCarthy poised to lose seventh House speaker vote

Day three, ballot seven and still no speaker.

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House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy appeared to lose his seventh bid as he failed to reach the threshold required to win the speaker’s gavel.

The House adjourned Wednesday night until noon Thursday, buying McCarthy more time to secure the 218 votes he needs to be elected speaker. However, the effort has fallen short.

— Sarah Elbeshbishi 

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Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., in the House chamber. The House of Representatives reconvenes on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., in the House chamber. The House of Representatives reconvenes on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

“He ain’t no prop:” McCarthy opponents again nominate Byron Donalds

Once again, opponents of McCarthy are again nominating Byron Donalds.

Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., said with Donalds the House has the chance to elect the first Black speaker in history, and he attacked Democrats who said that the Florida Republican is only a “prop” for the anti-McCarthy forces.

“He ain’t no prop,” Bishop said.

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– David Jackson

Byron Donalds for speaker?: Republicans nominate McCarthy alternative in House speaker vote

Biden following with ‘attention’

President Joe Biden was asked at the end of his border security event if he’s still monitoring the speaker’s race. “I’m following it with great…how can I say it?” he said, looking to the vice president for help.

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“Attention,” Vice President Harris said with a chuckle.

A smiling Biden repeated her. “Attention,” he said.

— Francesca Chambers

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‘Stay where you are’: President Biden unveils new steps to curb surge of migrants, plans trip to El Paso border

Aguilar nominates Jeffries again

House Democratic Chair Pete Aguilar nominated House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries for a seventh time on Thursday afternoon.

“There is no victory in a journey without doing the business of the people,” Aguilar said.

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His comments came on the third day of voting without a speaker chosen by a clear majority.

Jeffries has repeatedly had 212 votes – the full support of his caucus – while the GOP has failed to unite around one leader.

— Candy Woodall

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Who is Hakeem Jeffries?: What to know about the Brooklyn Rep. set to replace Pelosi

McCarthy nominated again, this time by John James

Michigan freshman congressman John James nominated McCarthy to start the day.

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After a standing ovation and repeated applause, James said McCarthy would change the direction of the nation and argued that the GOP needs to resolve the impasse over the speaker’s job.

People “want Republicans to lead,” James said.

This will be McCarthy’s seventh time on the speaker ballot.

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– David Jackson

Rep. John James, R-Mich. Shakes hands with Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as he nominates McCarthy for speaker for the seventh round of voting in the House chamber, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

Rep. John James, R-Mich. Shakes hands with Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as he nominates McCarthy for speaker for the seventh round of voting in the House chamber, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

Who is Rep. Byron Donalds?

Representative Byron Donalds serves District 19 in Southwest Florida.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, he moved to the Sunshine State for college, originally attending Florida A&M before transferring to Florida State University where he graduated with a degree in finance. Post-grad Donalds worked at TIB Bank, CMG Life Services and Moran Wealth in Naples.

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— Anna Kaufman

Learn more about him: Byron Donalds for speaker? Republicans nominate McCarthy alternative in House speaker vote

Fanone singles out House GOP lawmakers on eve of Jan. 6

Former D.C. police officer Michael Fanone, who was defending the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, took aim at House Republicans at the forefront of McCarthy’s battle for the speakership as the House enters another day without a speaker.

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“This week, people who encouraged or even attended the insurrection are taking places as leaders in the new House majority,” said Fanone, speaking at a press conference organized by progressive groups Courage for America and Common Defense.

Fanone singled out Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Matt Gaetz of Florida, and Derrick Van Orden of Wisconsin.

“To the new speaker of the House, whoever the hell that ends up being, and other GOP House leaders, here’s my message to you,” said Fanone. “We the people are calling on you to condemn political violence.”

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— Ken Tran

Jan. 6 Capitol attack 2 years later: Trump still plagued by multiple investigations

Dems won’t bail out GOP

House Democratic Whip Katherine Clark confirmed Thursday morning that her “united” party will continue to vote for speaker with the full 212 membership, offering no relief to GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy who would have an easier time winning a majority of votes without some Democrats in the room.

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“We are here. We are in full attendance, and we are going to remain so,” she said.

When asked if Democrats would stay through the weekend if the House remains in session until there’s a speaker, Clark said, “Yes, and this is not a hard sell.”

— Candy Woodall

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Incoming House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., accompanied by incoming House Minority Whip Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

Incoming House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., accompanied by incoming House Minority Whip Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

McCarthy offers new concessions

Rep. Kevin McCarthy is offering a slate of new concessions, trying to woo the Republican rebellion against him and effectively giving up the power of the speakership while hanging onto the title.

He has now allowed for a single member to force a vote to remove him as speaker, given the far-right flank authority to pick a third of the members on the powerful House Rules Committee, and opening spending bills to amendments and debates.

The concessions give more power to the 10% of the caucus that has already wielded outsized power in the narrow, four-person majority.

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Candy Woodall

Members walk on the House floor in the House chamber during a roll call vote on the motion to adjourn as the House meets for a second day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023.

Members walk on the House floor in the House chamber during a roll call vote on the motion to adjourn as the House meets for a second day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023.

Perry, a McCarthy holdout, facing backlash at home

Rep. Scott Perry, one of the 20 holdouts against Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s bid for speaker, is being called out by progressives in his Pennsylvania district at home.

A rally planned Friday in remembrance of Jan. 6 will include a call to Perry to leave the House Freedom Caucus, which he chairs, according to organizers.

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Members of Hershey Indivisible, a grassroots progressive organization, will meet on the Pennsylvania Capitol steps at noon Friday “to say MAGA Extremism is Fascism, Not Freedom,” the group said in a statement. “Let’s make sure Rep. Scott Perry doesn’t get away with his gross Freedom Caucus politics.”

Perry was a key figure in former President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election, according to the former House committee that investigated Jan. 6.

The Pennsylvania Republican refused subpoenas and interview requests from the committee and has denied that he ever sought a pardon.

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Perry is now a ringleader in the effort against McCarthy and said on the House floor Wednesday the speaker fight is “hard” and “painful,” but necessary to fix a broken Washington.

Candy Woodall

How the process works: What happens after McCarthy loses multiple speaker votes? We explain

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Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., talks to reporters after the House voted to adjourn for the evening as the House met for a second day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., talks to reporters after the House voted to adjourn for the evening as the House met for a second day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023.

McCarthy’s outlook for Thursday

After two days of stinging defeats in six losses, Rep. Kevin McCarthy returned to the Capitol Thursday morning confident his bid for speaker is moving in the right direction.

“I think we’re making progress,” he said to reporters. “We’re all working together to find a solution.”

McCarthy can only afford to lose four votes, and there are at least five or more in his caucus who are still a hard NO on him. His allies see any movement toward him or the ability to prevent further losses as a win.

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But does he have the votes yet to be speaker? “We’ll see,” McCarthy told reporters.

Candy Woodall

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., talks with reporters after a meeting with Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., before the House meets for the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., talks with reporters after a meeting with Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., before the House meets for the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

McCarthy’s shifting support

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy’s first real win this week was an adjournment vote and it came in prime time with benefits and consequences.

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One of his allies, Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, said on CNN last night members should start discussing alternatives to McCarthy. He said the McCarthy holdouts are “dug in” and many of his 200 supporters could tolerate only “three or four” more votes.

Meanwhile, on FOX News, McCarthy was getting support from host Sean Hannity. “If you only have 30, to be clear, you will not withdraw,” Hannity said while interviewing McCarthy opponent Rep. Lauren Boebert, but you’re telling Kevin McCarthy and the 203 people who support him to withdraw.”

McCarthy also received support from Elon Musk, who said the GOP leader should be speaker, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and others.

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“Speaker fight is 10% vs. 90% of members. It’s simple math,” Huckabee said in a tweet. “Meanwhile the country goes to hell & Dems & Devil laugh.”

Candy Woodall

A House without rules

Welcome to Day 3 in a House without rules, where for the first time in the modern era everything is in question – including the temperature in the chamber.

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That’s not just the temperature of lawmakers disagreeing with each other, but also the actual temperature inside the room. The speaker of the House usually controls or dictates the thermostat, but without a speaker there have been some complaints this week that it’s too hot or too cold inside the chamber. Some gripes may be tongue in cheek and have offered some rare levity as the GOP, with a new and slim majority, struggles to organize its caucus.

Other changes in a House without rules this week have related to lobbyists on the floor. Some of them are former members or family of members, but normally paid lobbyists aren’t allowed on the House floor.

Also, without rules, there’s confusion, which was on display Wednesday night as both parties shouted at the clerk and each other as they decided to adjourn – first by voice vote, then a recorded vote.

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The House without rules also has no members. All 434 are members-elect because they can’t be sworn in without a speaker.

Candy Woodall

Democrats to hold press conference Thursday morning

The minority party in the House hasn’t been demure in pointing to its good week and hasn’t missed an opportunity to talk about the GOP majority struggling to lead without leadership.

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Democrats will hold another press conference at 10 a.m. Thursday and will have a closed-door meeting at 11 a.m., as the House returns for a third day without a speaker.

Look for Democrats to have their full caucus together Thursday morning. They lost an adjournment vote Wednesday night because two of their members, Reps. Tony Cardenas of California and Adriano Espaillat of New York, were absent for it.

The GOP won the adjournment vote 216 to 214, though four Republicans voted with Democrats against adjourning.

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Candy Woodall

What to expect today

Based on members comments alone, Rep. Kevin McCarthy still doesn’t have the votes to be speaker.

But there could be a seventh vote when the House gavels in at noon Wednesday. Or there could be another adjournment. Neither procedure came easily yesterday.

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McCarthy can only afford to lose four Republican votes in House GOP’s slim majority, and there are still at least five who say they are voting against him: Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Ralph Norman of South Carolina and Bob Good of Virginia.

The reasons for their holdouts range from not trusting McCarthy, believing he’s too aligned with the Republican establishment they see as “the swamp” to complaining about spending bills he’s let move through the House.

Based on other reports in Politico Playbook and Punchbowl News, there are maybe a dozen firm NOs against McCarthy, but his camp remains optimistic. They believe if they can win some of the 20 detractors to their side, it will pressure the other holdouts.

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However, some members like Gaetz told reporters Wednesday he will be a NO for weeks or months.

Though some of the hardliners say it will be worth monthslong negotiations to not have McCarthy as speaker, other members with military backgrounds continue to sound alarms this morning that not having a sworn-in House is putting national security risk. Without being sworn in, there are no committees to oversee the Department of Defense and other agencies, they may not have valid security clearances and can’t be briefed on threatening national security risks.

Candy Woodall

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Who is Kevin McCarthy?

In 1987, a 22-year-old college student named Kevin McCarthy was rejected from a congressional internship. More than 30 years later, that onetime intern hopeful could become the next speaker of the House.

Former California Republican Rep. Bill Thomas’ chief of staff, Cathy Abernathy, is the one who turned down the then-student from Bakersfield in the 80s. Never, she told USA TODAY, did she guess the arc McCarthy’s career would take.

“It’s absurd to ask a person ‘Did you see this coming?’” Abernathy laughed. “Of course not.”

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— Ken Tran

Why do they keep voting for speaker of the House?

Prior the start of a new Congress, both parties hold a private meeting where they elect the party leadership for the next Congress. This takes place before Jan. 3, the official start of the new term when all House members vote for the speaker.

A candidate only needs a majority of votes from their respective party to win the nomination in the private meeting for leadership.

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Even if a colleague votes against a candidate in the private caucus meeting, the party typically sticks together to back their nominee on the House floor in January, according to Matt Glassman, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Government Affairs Institute.

However, when the whole House votes, just a few votes in opposition to a candidate from their own party could cost them the speakership.

— Rachel Looker

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Learn more here: What happens after McCarthy loses speaker vote multiple times? Here’s how the process works.

What happened Wednesday?

A chaotic and historic two days in the House were punctuated Wednesday night by a raucous vote to adjourn during a tumultuous session marked by shouting and confusion.

And still no speaker.

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Republicans came to the floor at 8 p.m. ET and motioned to adjourn again until noon Thursday to give GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy more time to secure the 218 votes he needs to win the gavel. Democrats, in no hurry to resolve the GOP stalemate, tried to block the effort but failed.

A voice vote was too close in a House currently without rules, and Democrats shouted for the clerk to hold a recorded vote. Members filed up to the rostrum to cast their votes, as others stood behind them and anxiously looked up at the House scoreboard.

— USA TODAY staff

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What happened Tuesday

The House of Representatives adjourned Tuesday without a new speaker after GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy lost three straight ballots in the face of hardline opposition, the first time in a century the usually pro-forma process has taken more than one vote.

The last time the vote for a new speaker went past the first ballot was 100 years ago, in 1923. The loss underscores how Republican infighting between moderates and hardliners will complicate the GOP’s majority in the House of Representatives.

Read the day one recap here: House adjourns without a new speaker as McCarthy loses three rounds of voting

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— USA TODAY staff

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Recap: Kevin McCarthy’s bid to be House speaker hits third day

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