A 13th ballot brought Rep.-elect Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) no closer to the 218 votes needed to achieve the House Speakership as in the previous round.
Rep.-elect. James Comer (R-KY) nominated McCarthy in round 13.
He complained that there was no sense of a lack of “urgency” amid the Biden Administration and demanded oversight; he’s set to become the Chair of the Oversight Committee in the 118th Congress.
“Congress ran the debt up,” Comer continued. Yet “there has not been a single hearing in the Oversight Committee to deal with potential waste, fraud or abuse to the Covid funds.”
He then called for former White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci to come before Congress.
“The American people,” he said, “have a lot of questions” for Fauci, as well as for DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, FBI Director Chris Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland. “We can’t ask those questions until we elect our Speaker.”
Rep.-elect Veronica Escobar (D-TX) nominated Hakeem Jeffries (R-NY) on the Democratic side of the aisle.
Republicans “had months to figure this out, and Americans should have profound concerns about what this portends,” she said of the four-day-long stalemate over the Speaker vote.
She further noted that Jeffries brought the House members together—at least on the Democratic side—to mark the two years since January 6, and “to ensure that we recommit to our republic and our democracy.”
For the first time in 13 ballots, no Republican rose to nominate a spoiler against McCarthy. Even so, six Republicans voted for Rep.-elect Jim Jordan (R-OH)—despite Jordan having consistently voted for McCarthy and having made it clear he did not seek the position.
McCarthy won 214 votes, the same as last time after one more previous holdout, Rep.-elect Andy Harris (R-MD), broke ranks with the resisters, but Rep.-elect Wesley Hunt (R-TX) missed the roll call to vote this time.
So far, a total of 14 of the previous holdouts flipped their votes to McCarthy on Friday, following negotiations Thursday night in which McCarthy reportedly agreed to a batch of concessions that would greatly reduce the power of the Speakership.
The 212 Democrats remained unified and threw all of their votes behind Jeffries. Rep.-elect David Trone (D-MD), who missed the vote in the 12th round, returned for the 13th ballot, bringing the Democrats’ tally back up to its regular total.