McCarthy Fails to Secure Speakership on the 14th Ballot

January 6, 2023

After four days and a near-historic 14 ballots, Rep.-elect Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) failed again to obtain the number of votes necessary to achieve the House Speakership.

Rep.-elect  Patrick McHenry (R-NC) nominated McCarthy in the 14th ballot.

“It’s been a long week,” he conceded. “To the men and women who make this institution run, we thank you.” This brought a rousing ovation from the House.

He noted that the press, the President and others have called the process a “mess,” an “embarrassment,” and “shambolic.” Then he begged to differ, “But it’s called ‘democracy,’ and this is the hallmark of a free society where voice and every vote counts.”

Rep.-elect Pete Aguilar (D-CA) then nominated Rep.-elect Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) on the Democratic side of the chamber. 

He noted the two years since the January 6 insurrection, then elicited shouts from the other side of the aisle when he said, “If we’re forced to be here this evening because of the chaos and crisis on the other side, it’s only fair to point out, Madam Clerk, that the same individuals who fanned the flames of January 6th, who told their followers, and their followers’ followers, that they needed to fight back, and who challenged the swearing in of members who vote based on fake electors, may well be in charge of the peoples’ House if they can ever agree on who can lead them.”

The House then proceeded to vote, and 216 Republicans threw their votes behind McCarthy.

Six Republicans voted for spoilers or voted “present”—just enough to enough to block McCarthy’s victory. 

Reps.-elect Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and Bob Good (R-VA) voted for Rep.-elect Jim Jordan (R-OH), who was not nominated and who voted for McCarthy. Reps.-elect Eli Crane (R-AZ) and Matt Rosendale (R-MT) voted for Biggs. 

Reps.-elect Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO) voted “present.” 

And for the 14th time, Democrats unanimously voted for Jeffries. 

Republicans had gone into the House sounding confident they had the votes to lock up a victory for McCarthy, and after the roll call a great deal of discussion occurred on the floor. 

Shouts of, “We’ll do it again!” could be heard. However, the House went to an electronic vote tally on adjournment.

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

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