McCarthy Fails In 3rd Round To Win House Speakership

January 3, 2023

The vote for House Speakership headed toward a nearly unprecedented fourth round of voting after Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) failed three times in a row on Tuesday to secure the necessary 218 votes needed to achieve the position.

Following Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) in the first two rounds, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) nominated McCarthy in the third round, appealing to his fellow lawmakers to “get things done.”

Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) nominated Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) a third time. And then Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), in the interest of “exercising our right to vote” and “to stop the swamp from rolling over the American people,” nominated Rep. Jim Jordan, who had been the spoiler against McCarthy in the second round—and whom Roy acknowledged didn’t seek the Speakership—to act as spoiler yet again. 

Jordan, who had unwillingly obtained 19 votes in round two, garnered 20 in round three preventing McCarthy, who only obtained 202 votes, from securing the Speakership and sending voting into a fourth round. 

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) threw his support behind Jordan, becoming the 20th vote for the Ohio Congressman in round three. After voting Donalds tweeted, “The reality is Rep. Kevin McCarthy doesn’t have the votes. I committed my support to him publicly and for two votes on the House Floor. 218 is the number, and currently, no one is there. Our conference needs to recess and huddle and find someone or work out the next steps…” 

Jordan voted for McCarthy in each of the first three rounds.

The vote for Speaker has only gone into multiple rounds once since the Civil War. The longest it ever took for the House to vote for Speaker was in 1855, when it took two months and 133 floor votes.

On the Democratic side of the chamber, Rep. Jeffries, who won all 212 of the House Democrats’ votes in each of the first two rounds, did so again in round three.

A few minutes before 5:30pm Eastern Time the House voted to adjourn until noon Wednesday.

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