McCarthy Loses 3rd Round of Voting

One of his supporters switched to Jim Jordan after the second ballot
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2023 1:45 PM CST
Updated Jan 3, 2023 4:39 PM CST
Speaker Vote Goes to 2nd Ballot
Rep. Matt Gaetz nominates Rep. Jim Jordan for House Speaker ahead of the second round of voting during opening day of the 118th Congress, Tuesday, Jan 3, 2023, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

For the first time in a century, the vote for speaker of the House has gone to a second ballot—and beyond. Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy has now lost three rounds of voting. He got 203 votes on the first ballot when the minimum needed was 218. In the second round, 19 Republican rebels who had voted for an assortment of candidates in the first round united behind Rep. Jim Jordan, who had urged his fellow Republicans to vote for McCarthy. In the third ballot, one McCarthy supporter defected, making it 20 votes for Jordan and 202 for McCarthy. Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries received 212 votes in all three rounds of voting and Democrats have been told to stay near the chamber ahead of an expected fourth vote, the New York Times reports.

In the first round of voting, 10 conservative Republicans chose Rep. Andy Biggs, six chose Jordan, Reps. Byron Donalds and Jim Banks got one vote each, and one vote went to former Rep. Lee Zeldin, whose term finished today, per the Times. McCarthy and his allies are now preparing for a "grueling, potentially dayslong fight," with the House unable to conduct other business, including the swearing-in of members, until a speaker is chosen, Politico reports. There could be many more rounds of voting to come: In 1923, the last time the voting went to more than one ballot, a speaker wasn't elected until the ninth ballot.

In what the Washington Post describes as "an effort to quell" the Republicans who voted for him, Jordan nominated McCarthy for the second ballot, urging caucus members to rally around McCarthy. "The differences between Joyce and Jordan or Biggs and Bacon, they pale in comparison to the differences between us and the left," he said, per the Times. Rep. Matt Gaetz then proceeded to nominate Jordan, saying his speech nominating McCarthy showed "more vision than we have ever heard from the alternative." Rep. Steve Scalise nominated McCarthy for the third round, while Rep. Chip Roy nominated Jordan. This story has been updated with the results of the third ballot. (Read more speaker of the House stories.)

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