Rep.-elect Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) heads into a nearly-unprecedented third day of voting for the Speaker of the House in the 118th Congress, reportedly having made even more concessions Wednesday night with the roughly 20 Republicans who’ve been voting against him, keeping the Speakership out of his reach.
Among those concessions, Rep.-elect Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told reporters that McCarthy agreed to reduce the number of Representatives necessary to call for a “motion to vacate”—essentially, to call for a vote of “no confidence” against the Speaker to have him or her ousted—all the way down to one.
That’s after McCarthy had previously agreed to reduce the number down to five Representatives from its current number: a majority within the Speaker’s party.
Gaetz also said McCarthy agreed to place members of the far-right Freedom Caucus on key committees, like the Rules Committee which determines how a bill comes to the House floor.
The House adjourned after 8pm Eastern Time Wednesday night, after McCarthy had earlier in the afternoon failed to win the 218 votes needed to achieve the Speakership for a second day and in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds of House voting.
There have been roughly 20 House Republicans, including Gaetz, who have consistently voted against him, putting up a spoiler in each round. The new concessions were meant to sway their votes—but they were not guaranteed to do so—as the House was set to enter a third day and at least a seventh round of voting on Thursday.
“I’m not sure any needle’s been moved,” Rep.-elect Ralph Norman (R-SC), one of the so-called Never Kevins who have vowed to never vote for McCarthy, said as he left the negotiations on Wednesday night.
McCarthy, meanwhile, has already moved his property into the Speaker’s office.
By contrast on the other side of the chamber, all 212 House Democrats have voted unanimously for Rep-elect Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) in all six rounds of voting.