Round 11: McCarthy Still Not Speaker

January 5, 2023

The House of Representatives rolled on into Thursday evening with an 11th round of voting, during which Rep.-elect Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) again failed in his quest to achieve the needed 218 votes to win the House Speakership.

Rep.-elect French Hill  (R-AR) nominated McCarthy in round 11. 

“First, let me express my deep appreciation for the work you’re doing, Madam Clerk,” he began, which drew a round of applause for House Clerk Cheryl Johnson throughout the chamber. 

Hill then went on to say that as Minority Leader McCarthy had charged House Republicans with taking on the “two biggest concerns facing this world and this nation: China and our nation’s national debt and deficit.” 

“The past two years we have lost our way on spending. Printing too much money at the Central Bank and spending here in Congress like drunken sailors,” he added. “This bad policy-palooza has gone into overdrive” under President Biden.

Rep.-elect Joe Neguse (D-CO) then nominated Rep.-elect Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) for Speaker on behalf of the Democrats.

He noted that that he had first been sworn in back in 2018 amid the longest government shutdown in U.S. history “because of the disfunction and the chaos on the other side of the aisle.”  

He went on, “And so here we find ourselves again in unprecedented times”—the first time in 100 years that the House has not elected a Speaker on in one round of voting. 

And just as the nation had “looked to House Democrats to govern and to lead” in 2018 under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), “This sacred institution…needs a leader that will inspire us,” he concluded, nominating Jeffries.

Rep.-elect Matt Gaetz (R-FL) then stood up and nominated former President Donald Trump as a spoiler against McCarthy. 

“For all of the vitriol that we hear from the media and at times the left, there were great moments of bipartisanship under the Trump Presidency,” he said, adding that he was nominating Trump because “we must make  our country great again and he can start by making the House of Representatives great again.”

Rep.-elect Bob Good (R-VA) then nominated Kevin Hern (R-OK) as a second spoiler. “We need someone who’s the head of the largest caucus in the Republican conference, someone like Kevin Hern,” he said.

It was the third time that Hern—who has been voting for McCarthy—had been nominated by one of his fellow Republicans.

McCarthy received 200 votes in round 11, the same as the previous two rounds.

Hern received seven votes. Former President Trump received exactly one vote—from Gaetz. 

Meanwhile Rep.-elect Byron Donalds—who was not formally nominated in the 11th round but had been nominated in the seven previous rounds—received 12 votes.

Rep.-elect Victoria Spartz (R-IN) voted “present” for an eighth consecutive ballot.

Rep.-elect Ken-Buck (R-CO), who had to leave Washington for a medical appointment, last voted in the eighth round and has been absent since.

For the 11th ballot in a row, all 212 House Democrats cast their votes for Jeffries for Speaker of the House.

Meanwhile, 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 rule changes like a 72-hour rule to review bills, term limits, and open amendments. However, it did not address committee assignments.

He added that he was not sure if there was enough support from lawmakers to adjourn the House tonight. 

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

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