Six of the seven hardline Republican holdouts blocking Kevin McCarthy’s path to the House speakership held firm in a 13th round of voting, thwarting once again the Californian’s pathway to the gavel.
McCarthy won 214 votes, still shy of the threshold he needs. But he did flip the vote of Andy Harris of Maryland, potentially leaving him just two more votes away from victory assuming the chamber embarks on a 14th ballot on Friday afternoon.
The other six so-called “Never Kevins” voted for Ohio’s Jim Jordan, who was not nominated, meaning there was not enough support for McCarthy to win on this vote.
They included Andy Biggs of Arizona, Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Matt Gaetz of Florida, among the most vocal of McCarthy’s opponents. Earlier Friday, several House members walked out as Gaetz attacked McCarthy from the floor.
McCarthy’s allies, meanwhile, will be encouraged by the apparently successful strategy of picking off the rebels one by one to put him on the brink of victory. It represents an astonishing turnaround in his fortunes from 11 votes over three days earlier this week, during which at least 20 Republicans opposed him every time.
McCarthy agreed to many of the detractors’ demands, according to the Associated Press, including the reinstatement of a longstanding House rule that would allow any single member to call a vote to oust him from office.
That change and others mean the job he fought so hard to gain will be somewhat weakened, assuming he emerges triumphant.
There are now 6 GOP holdouts left in the election for Speaker of the House. McCarthy needs two votes from this group to win:
Joe Biden is speaking now at the White House to pay tribute to the law enforcement officers who defended the US Capitol against a violent mob of Donald Trump-incited insurrectionists two years ago.
We’ll bring you the best of his comments very shortly.
.@POTUS: “But on this day two years ago, our democracy held because We the People did not flinch. We the People endured. We the People prevailed.
And on this day of remembrance, we honor a remarkable group of Americans who embodied the best.”
You can follow the president’s speech here:
Happening Now: President Biden marks two years since the January 6th insurrection during a Presidential Citizens Medal ceremony.
Kevin McCarthy has picked off at least one of the seven remaining Republican holdouts, Andy Harris of Maryland.
It won’t change the outcome of the 13th vote for speaker – McCarthy will still lose this round – but it would appear to point to a successful strategy of picking off the rebels one by one.
McCarthy’s critics picking off the remaining opponents one by one. Now the focus shifts to Rosendale & Crane.
So far today, 15 of the 20 Republicans who have voted against him consistently through 11 votes from Tuesday to Thursday have been persudade to join the McCarthy camp.
The Californian will sense that he’s edging closer.
There are seven holdout Republicans still standing in Kevin McCarthy’s path. Two of them, Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, have voted for Ohio’s Jim Jordan, even though he was not formally nominated.
If three more Republicans join Boebert and Biggs, McCarthy looks all but certain to lose again. But if McCarthy can flip four of the five rebels yet to vote, he will win.
Rejuvenated allies of Kevin McCarthy have touted the California Republican for an imminent 13th House speaker vote, more confident that this time they may have the support he needs to secure the gavel.
Round 12 earlier this afternoon saw McCarthy flip more than a dozen of the 20 Republican holdouts who have so far blocked his path to the speakership.
Some frantic horse trading has taken place, and McCarthy’s team is optimistic and ready to go again.
Kentucky Republican James Comer has just delivered a fiery speech nominating McCarthy, promising investigations into Joe Biden and his dealings with Ukraine and Russia.
Congresswoman Veronica Escobar of Texas is nominating Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic party’s leader in the House, for speaker.
There are no other nominations, for the first time.
Voting is under way and it seems to be a two-way fight between McCarthy and Jeffries, potentially a good sign for the Republican that this could finally be the vote in which he wins the speaker’s gavel.
It’s been a lively morning in US politics and there is a lot more drama ahead. The House still does not have a speaker but California Republican Kevin McCarthy is finally making some progress. In a few minutes, Joe Biden is due to speak at the White House on the second anniversary of the January 6 insurrection by extremist supporters of Donald Trump, encouraged by the-then president. Biden will also present medals to a group of people who upheld the law and US democracy on January 6, 2021, and in the 2020 election and its aftermath against dangerous opposition from the far right.
Here’s where things stand:
- Kevin McCarthy lost a historic 12th round of voting in his tortured quest to become House speaker – but the California Republican picked up support from several of the hardline Republican rebels who have consistently opposed him.
- Tribute was paid in Washington, DC, this morning to the late law enforcement officers who defended the US Capitol against Trump’s mob of insurrectionists two years ago today. The “tremendous bravery” of the five law enforcement officers who lost their lives as a result of the riot, 140 more who were injured, and hundreds of others on duty that day were honored by current Democratic House leader Hakeem Jeffries and predecessor Nancy Pelosi, the most recent speaker.
- The House of Representatives reconvened for the fourth day of the 118th Congress without a speaker. And the voting began again. The House can do no business until a speaker is elected, including swearing in its members.
- Another lawsuit against Trump. The partner of Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick, who died after the January 6, 2021, attack on Congress, has sued Donald Trump.
- California’s governor Gavin Newsom, a rising star in the Democratic party, will be sworn in for his second term on Friday by comparing his leadership style with that of Republican governors and former president Donald Trump. He is widely seen as a future presidential candidate, though he says he plans to support Joe Biden in 2024.
While we vote for the next stage of the House voting, here’s a video of the tribute in Washington DC this morning paid to the late enforcement officers who defended the US Capitol against Donald Trump’s mob of insurrectionists two years ago today.
The “tremendous bravery” of the five law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the riot, 140 more who were injured, and hundreds of others on duty that day were honored by current Democratic House leader Hakeem Jeffriesand predecessor Nancy Pelosi, the most recent speaker.
Here’s the fillip for Kevin McCarthy, the chairman of the hard-right Freedom Caucus among House Republicans, Scott Perry, has swung behind him.
This could make the difference. Clearly McCarthy is not there yet to get the majority needed to elect him speaker of the House. But he’s a lot closer.
We’re at a turning point. I’ve negotiated in good faith, with one purpose: to restore the People’s House back to its rightful owners. The framework for an agreement is in place, so in a good-faith effort, I voted to restore the People’s House by voting for @gopleader McCarthy.
McCarthy has now flipped 14 hold-outs out of the 19 or 20 who’ve been opposing him since Tuesday – not enough to get him across the line yet, but noises are coming from his camp about momentum.
Kevin McCarthy appears to have lost a 12th vote to become House speaker, but picked up support from several of the hardline Republican rebels who have consistently opposed him.
Voting is still under way but enough Republicans have voted against him to deny the Californian Republican the 217 votes he needed. (The threshold had fallen by one from 218 because at least two House members voted only “present”).
In 11 previous votes over three days, 20 Republican holdouts voted consistently against McCarthy. In Friday’s first vote, at least six switched their support to him, after overnight negotiations between the rebels and McCarthy’s team, and a conference call this morning.
The next steps remain unclear, although more negotiations are likely this afternoon to win over more of the holdouts as McCarthy’s allies attempt to build on the momentum.
McCarthy spoke optimistically as he entered the chamber ahead of the vote.
“I feel good, I think you’re going to see an improvement in the vote today, we have a couple members who unfortunately are out so we’re seeing progress,” he told reporters.
“My father always told me one thing, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”
Several House members reportedly walked out of the chamber during Matt Gaetz’s speech nominating Jim Jordan.
Also notable was that his address failed to gain the applause of a single congress member.
people walk out during Gaetz’s speech, which is for Jim Jordan.
As voting continues, McCarthy has picked up at least five votes from the 20 rebels who had previously opposed him, indicating significant momentum to his cause.
It remains to be seen if the shift is enough to get McCarthy to the 218 votes he needs during this round of voting, but it’s the first time in 12 rounds of voting he has picked up support, and his allies will be encouraged.
Proceedings in the House are already growing rancorous as Florida Republican Matt Gaetz tears into Kevin McCarthy.
Gaetz, a leading member of the “Never Kevins” who have barred McCarthy’s path to the speakership over the last three days, and who on Thursday nominated Donald Trump for the role (the fortmer president got one vote, that of Gaetz), says the 12th vote will have the same result as the previous 11.
“One must wonder,” Madam Clerk, is this an exercise in vanity?” Gaetz wonders.
“Mr McCarthy doesn’t have the votes today. He will not have the votes tomorrow, and he will not have the votes next week, next month, next year.”
Gaetz nominates Jim Jordan of Ohio.
Now another Republican maverick, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, is on her feet, nominating Kevin Hern of Oklahoma.
Despite all the talk this morning of “glimmers of hope” and “breakthroughs”, it’s not looking good for McCarthy as things stand. Voting is under way.
Mike Garcia, a Republican congressman from California, is on his feet nominating Kevin McCarthy for speaker (again), and a 12th vote looks like it’s imminent.
“This is not about Kevin McCarthy,” Garcia is insisting, even though it is. He’s paying tribute to US service members, and addressing the fentanyl crisis even as he’s urging his colleagues to support McCarthy.
He’s also talking directly to Democrats, and drawing boos, as he takes a dig over them voting from home during the pandemic. He’s been rebuked for not directing his remarks through the chair.
“We are on the verge of a very important victory… a victory for the future of our nation,” he insists, although it’s far from clear McCarthy has even close to the 218 votes he will need to win the speaker’s gavel.
Democrat James Clyburn of South Carolina is nominating Hakeem Jeffriesas his party’s nominee for a 12th time. Jeffries, the party’s leader in the House, has won all 212 Democrat votes in every round of voting so far.
- House speaker vote: McCarthy falls short in 13th round– LIVE UPDATES - January 6, 2023