Kevin McCarthy Loses the First Round of Votes - Can He Turn the Tide?

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The voting in the 188th Congress for the Speaker of the House has just concluded. For the first time since 1923, a House Speaker will not be elected on this first round of votes. A century ago, it took nine rounds of voting to settle on a Speaker. Back in 1855, it took 133 rounds of voting.


This does not bode well for GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, particularly since the initial five members who were holdouts, which included Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, and Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, has now ballooned to 19. Currently, Democrat Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries leads in votes by 212 to McCarthy’s 203—a nine-point spread.

The 19 Republican “no’s” for McCarthy on the first vote are:

The 19 Republicans who are not on board voted primarily for Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona (11 votes). Others went with Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, and Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York.


Biggs tweeted:

McCarthy has hard work ahead of him to persuade 15 of those 19 to vote for him in the second round. The business of the House remains in the balance until then, with committee chairmanships, swearing-in of newly-elected representatives, and any other significant voting remaining on hold until a Speaker of the House is selected.


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