McCarthy fails on second speaker ballot as ‘Never Kevin’ lawmakers shift support to Jordan

Kevin McCarthy
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy wants to demonstrate that Republicans have their own agenda to address climate change, but that the party disagrees with the aggressive path being charted by President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

McCarthy fails on second speaker ballot as ‘Never Kevin’ lawmakers shift support to Jordan

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The 19 lawmakers who voted against Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on the first ballot to become the next speaker of the House stuck by their guns, with the group shifting their votes toward House Judiciary Chairman-elect Jim Jordan (R-OH) on the second ballot on Tuesday.

Jordan, whom six defectors voted for on the first ballot, nominated McCarthy for the second round, with the Ohio Republican arguing that “we really need to rally around him.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) then nominated Jordan, arguing that “maybe the right person for the job of speaker of the House isn’t someone who wants it.”

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On the first ballot, Former House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-AZ), who launched a challenge against McCarthy, was the first to buck him, voting for himself.

Reps. Dan Bishop (R-NC), Andrew Clyde (R-GA), Gaetz, Bob Good (R-VA), Biggs, Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Ralph Norman, Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry (R-PA), Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT), and incoming freshman Rep. Eli Crane (R-AZ) also backed Biggs.

Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Michael Cloud (R-TX), Mary Miller, and incoming freshman Reps. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), Andy Ogles (R-TN), and Keith Self (R-TX) backed Jordan, while Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) cast his ballot for Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) and Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) voted for former Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY).

Conservatives stated that their position on the California Republican had not changed coming out of a fiery conference meeting ahead of the vote.

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The McCarthy opponents shifted their support to Jordan on the second round of voting, while Democrats remained unified around Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) on the floor. Ultimately, 203 members voted for McCarthy and 212 voted for Jeffries, the same figures as during the first round.

The House is slated to move to a third ballot in the wake of McCarthy falling short of the 218 needed to get him over the finish line.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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