The first round of voting for House speaker showed the ramifications of “the rise of the extreme MAGA caucus,” said one Democrat. Trump aide Matt Lira speaks with Kevin McCarthy during the 2019 Presidential Social Media Summit at the White House. White House photo by Andrea Hanks.
McCarthy fails to win House speakership in second round vote
by Julia Conley & Jessica Corbett — Common Dreams
With several far-right allies of former President Donald Trump leading a charge to block US House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy’s bid to become speaker of the chamber, the California Republican repeatedly fell short of the votes he needed to prevail on Tuesday.
During both rounds of voting, McCarthy got only 203 votes from his fellow Republicans, several short of the 218 votes needed to win the leadership position. In the second round of voting, GOP Rep. Jim Jordan (OH) received 19 votes.
That came after Jordan secured just six votes in the first round, when 10 Republicans supported Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ) while Reps. Byron Donalds (FL) and Jim Banks (IN) as well as former Rep. Lee Zeldin (NY) each received one vote.
Defectors included outspoken backers of Trump—who urged members to support McCarthy—including Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Lauren Boebert of Colorado.
For both rounds, every Democrat backed Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), who ended up with more votes than McCarthy but did not win the majority needed for the speakership. Jeffries is expected to become the House minority leader.
Leading up to the first vote, McCarthy agreed to some demands by his detractors, who include members of the House Freedom Caucus. He agreed to include in the House rules a stipulation that members can vote to unseat the speaker at any time, but refused to pledge to hold votes on some bills proposed by ultra-conservative members. He also did not pledge that the party’s political action committee would decline to fund primary challengers.
No other members can be sworn in until the speaker is elected, and the House will not be able to proceed with any official business until the matter is resolved.
The second round of voting began shortly after McCarthy lost the first round, with Jordan once again giving a nominating speech in support of the California lawmaker.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) tweeted that McCarthy’s failure to win the leadership post shows “the rise of the extreme MAGA caucus [has] already had ramifications.”
“House Republicans are showing the American people that they can’t govern,” said Lieu.
Anticipating the revolt by some House Republicans, The Washington Post noted last week that “the last time a speaker election took more than one ballot was in 1923, when Speaker Frederick Gillett (R-MA) was reelected on the ninth ballot.”
Contact us by email at email@example.com
To fend off hackers, organized trolls and other online vandalism, our website comments feature is switched off. Instead, come to our Facebook page to join in the discussion.
These links are interactive — click on the boxes