Round Five: McCarthy Fails Once Again to Secure Speakership

January 4, 2023

In what was starting to look like a Congressional version of Groundhog Day, on Wednesday Rep.-elect Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for a fifth time failed to secure the 218 votes necessary to obtain the House Speakership.

Warren Davidson (R-OH) was the Rep.-elect who nominated McCarthy in round five. He invoked President Reagan’s famous “trust but verify” dictum in his speech on the House floor, conceding that there were some 20 of his fellow Republicans who did not trust Kevin McCarthy in the position of Speaker—but then he added that at the moment, many of his colleagues “don’t trust 20 of my fellow Republicans.”

He further pointed out that McCarthy had agreed to many of the concessions that conservative Republicans had asked for, including a deal on the so-called “motion to vacate,” reducing the number of House Republicans necessary to call for the removal of the Speaker from his or her position from a majority within the party down to just five.

For a fifth time, Rep.-elect Pete Aguilar (D-CA) nominated Rep.-elect Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) as Speaker. He received a standing ovation from Democrats. 

Then Rep.-elect Lauren Boebert (R-CO) nominated Rep.-elect Byron Donalds (R-FL) as the spoiler against McCarthy for the second time on Wednesday. “We need the tools and the leadership to do our job correctly,” she said. 

“Let’s stop with the campaign smears and tactics to turn against us,” she added. Boebert then called out former President Trump in that regard, alluding to his Truth Social post urging Republicans to vote for McCarthy. Her remarks toward the former President elicited hoots from the chamber.  

In round five Byron won 20 Republican votes while McCarthy won 201 votes, the same as in round four with Rep.-elect Victoria Spartz (R-IN) “present” twice in a row. 

Meanwhile, the Democrats for a fifth time voted unanimously, awarding Jeffries all 212 of their votes for Speaker. 

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