McCarthy fails on eighth ballot as speaker chaos continues into third day

Kevin McCarthy
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrives to the House chamber at the beginning of an evening session after six failed votes to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Alex Brandon/AP

McCarthy fails on eighth ballot as speaker chaos continues into third day

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House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) fell short of the support needed to become speaker on the eighth ballot, with a group of 20 conservatives continuing to push back on the California Republican on the third day of votes on the floor.

His detractors have said they will continue to vote against him unless he makes additional concessions for rules changes.

Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) nominated McCarthy, while former House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-AZ) nominated Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) on the floor. Although the 20 holdouts had lined up behind Donalds on prior rounds, Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Josh Brecheen (R-OK) voted for Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK), the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, for this ballot. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) voted for former President Donald Trump, as he had on the seventh ballot.

‘NO PLAN B’: HOUSE REPUBLICAN CRITICIZES PLANS TO BLOCK MCCARTHY SPEAKERSHIP BID

McCarthy met with defectors on Wednesday evening, when they discussed additional concessions, including allowing a single member to call for a vote to oust a sitting speaker, placing more conservative hard-liners on the House Rules Committee, and promising votes on key bills. While conservatives seemed encouraged by the changes, they expressed frustrations with the California Republican apparently leaking the details of the talks, arguing that it has added to their overarching trust issues with him.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry (R-PA) said Thursday that no deal has been struck.

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McCarthy huddled with centrists ahead of the House gaveling in on Thursday to discuss a path forward.

Three GOP lawmakers expressed frustrations that there has not been a full conference meeting since Tuesday morning as they remain in a stalemate.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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