On Wednesday, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy failed to seize the speaker’s gavel for the sixth time, leaving the House in a deadlock as his detractors remained steadfast in their opposition to his bid. After the House took a short break, McCarthy and his allies engaged in talks with the Republican holdouts to try to end the impasse but came up empty-handed. They then postponed a seventh vote on the House leadership until today.
Six votes to select a speaker were taken on the House floor between Tuesday and Wednesday; each time, the rebels banded together and supported someone else, depriving McCarthy of the 218 votes he required to win.
McCarthy’s supporters and detractors are both firmly entrenched, which guarantees that under the new GOP majority, instability will reign in the House for the foreseeable future.
A seventh speaker vote will take place on Thursday after the House voted 216-214 to adjourn just before 8:30 p.m. Reps. Andy Biggs and Eli Crane of Arizona, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, and Matt Gaetz of Florida were four of McCarthy’s opponents who teamed up with Democrats to try to keep the House in session on Wednesday night.
The opposition to McCarthy from several conservatives has left the House GOP majority in a heated impasse. As a result of the conflict, which started on the first day of the 118th Congress, the new House GOP majority is in disarray and the party’s agenda is being undermined.
It’s far from certain that McCarthy and his friends will be able to secure the votes, and the longer the battle lasts, the less likely it looks like he’ll be elected speaker. However, there were indications on Wednesday that the talks are moving forward.
McCarthy stated that although there has been movement, there is still no agreement to break the impasse before the House adjourns.
The House was recessed for many hours as Republicans continued their discussions following a series of unsuccessful speaker votes earlier in the day.
According to GOP sources familiar with the internal deliberations, Texas Rep. Chip Roy, one of the conservatives who has opposed McCarthy’s campaign for speaker, informed GOP leaders that he believes he can convince 10 holdouts to support him if these current negotiations succeed and that there are further opponents who may be willing to vote “present.”