House Votes to Adjourn After Five Failed Speaker Votes

January 5, 2023

By a vote of  219 to 213, the House voted to adjourn for the evening at  8:07pm Eastern Time Thursday until 12pm Friday, following five consecutive votes that left the Speakership unresolved.

At roughly 7:50pm House Clerk Cheryl Johnson called for the electronic vote after Democrats—hoping to prevent adjournment with no votes—tried to out-shout Republicans.

On day three of the voting, the House had gone into round 11, but still Rep.-elect Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) failed in his quest to obtain the necessary 218 votes to become Speaker of the House.

The 11th ballot was nearly historic—the most since 1859 when the voting for Speaker went to 44 ballots.

The year 1855 holds the record, however, when voting went on for two months and 133 ballots. 

There were reports late Thursday that McCarthy was working toward a deal with the 20 Republican holdouts. 

Rep.-elect Ralph Norman (R-SC) told CNN there was a deal “on paper” that included some of the changes they were looking for, which revolved around changes like a 72-hour rule to review bills, term limits, and open amendments. However, the changes did not address committee assignments.

The Constitution requires that the House elect a Speaker, and the vote takes priority over all other business. No other House business can begin until the Speakership is resolved.

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