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House adjourns on day three as McCarthy’s bid for speaker at a stalemate

The House adjourned after the 11th round of balloting Thursday as Kevin McCarthy's GOP opponents showed little sign of relenting.

What you need to know about the speaker race

  • The House reconvened at noon Thursday and resumed voting for a speaker. Republicans were deadlocked on the seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th rounds of voting as hard-liners in their caucus refused to back GOP leader Kevin McCarthy.
  • Members held three votes Tuesday and three Wednesday. Each time, McCarthy failed to win 218 votes, the number he most likely needs to secure the job.
  • McCarthy made several key concessions overnight to try to appease his detractors, including reinstating a rule that a single House member could force a vote to oust the speaker.

McCarthy says 'we're making progress' after third day of failed votes

After the House adjourned Thursday night, McCarthy said progress was being made in his effort to win the speaker's gavel, while adding that he's "not putting any timeline on it."

"We’re working through it. We’re making progress," McCarthy told reporters, echoing remarks he made after the House adjourned in a deadlock Wednesday evening. McCarthy also brushed aside concerns that he could alienate GOP moderates by offering certain concessions to the far-right Republicans who have been opposing his bid for speaker.

"The entire conference is going to have to learn how to work together," McCarthy said. "So it's better that we go through this process right now, so we can achieve the things that we want to achieve for the American public."

Asked whether concessions and multiple failed votes would undercut his power if he wins the speakership, McCarthy said he didn’t believe they would. "It's not how you start; it's how you finish. And if we finish well, we'll be very successful," he said.

How the speaker fight prevents Congress from working

WASHINGTON — There is no speaker of the House. There are no active House lawmakers. There are no House committees.

At the moment, there is no functioning U.S. House of Representatives.

The three-day-long Republican standoff over Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s speaker bid has meant that none of the 434 people elected to the House in November have been sworn in, leaving children and spouses who traveled to Washington to celebrate with the members-elect floating around the marbled building waiting for something, anything, to happen.

Other business in the House is paralyzed, as well, and the rules that previously governed the lower chamber have expired.

Freshman members-elect haven’t been able to set up their House email. Committees, now controlled by Republicans, haven’t been able to hire new staffers. And lawmakers have lost their security clearances and are forbidden to receive sensitive information or enter secure briefing rooms known as SCIFs — because they aren’t technically members.

Read the full story here.

How much time has the House spent failing to elect a speaker? 17 hours and 55 minutes

House members have spent nearly 18 hours on the floor this week trying and failing to elect a new speaker, taking progressively more time each day since lawmakers first began voting Tuesday.

The proceedings Tuesday and Wednesday lasted nearly five hours, clocking in at five hours, 52 minutes and five hours, 57 minutes respectively. Wednesday's session also involved a more than three-hour break and a 25-minute motion to adjourn.

Thursday's session continued for eight nonstop hours, which included a four-minute, 20-second speech by GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida nominating former President Donald Trump for speaker, before it finally adjourned until noon Friday.

House votes to adjourn without speaker settled

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

The House voted to adjourn after five more failed speaker votes, planning to return to the chamber at noon Friday.

McCarthy has failed to garner the support he needs to get elected speaker as 20 hard-liners continue to refuse to back him.

Capitol Hill bar advertises $218 'Speaker of the Pub' deal

Union Pub, a Capitol Hill bar popular with congressional staffers, is offering a drinks package Thursday that makes light of the situation in the House.

The promotion, dubbed the “Speaker Special,” is being sold for $218 in an apparent nod toward the number of votes needed to claim the gavel.

“Available today & until a Speaker of the House is elected!” the promotional tweet said.

The House is voting on a motion to adjourn until Friday

Republican Rep. Steve Scalise offered a motion to adjourn Thursday evening as McCarthy continues to struggle to get the simple majority needed to win his bid for speaker.

The House is voting on the motion after an 11th ballot failed to produce a speaker.

As they did Wednesday, Democrats are urging their members to vote against the motion to force Republicans to hold more speaker votes.

Kevin's 11: McCarthy loses another round in speaker bid

McCarthy lost his 11th bid for House speaker Thursday night as the pro- and anti-McCarthy Republicans continued to dig into their respective positions.

Twenty Republicans voted for candidates other than McCarthy, as they did four times earlier Thursday. In the latest round, 12 of them voted for Byron Donalds and seven for Kevin Hern, and one, Matt Gaetz, voted for former President Trump, whom he officially nominated before the vote. Rep. Victoria Spartz again voted present.

The loss means the speakership race is headed to a 12th ballot — tying it for the fifth-longest speaker selection process, by number of vote rounds, in history. That election took place over 200 years ago, in 1821.

The fourth-longest, a year earlier, went to 22 ballots. The longest, in 1855, went to 133 ballots.

Gaetz nominates Trump in 11th round of voting

GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida again nominated former President Trump for House speaker during an 11th round of voting — this time delivering a lengthy speech.

"I rise to nominate Donald Trump for the position of speaker of the House," Gaetz said, touting the Trump administration on the economy, tax cuts and wage increases. "For all of the vitriol that we hear from the media, and at times the left, there were great moments of bipartisanship under the Trump presidency."

Gaetz first nominated and voted for the former president during the seventh round of voting earlier in the day after previously having voted for Donalds on earlier ballots.

“This government for far too long has been deeply corrupt,” Gaetz said. “If we just go next man up on our side of the aisle, we will reify that corrupt system.”

McCarthy falls short, again

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

On the 11th ballot, McCarthy was again unable to find the votes he needs to be speaker.

House heads to 11th speaker vote

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

The House is beginning its 11th vote for speaker.

It's Groundhog Day again, again as McCarthy loses 10th vote

McCarthy lost his 10th ballot to be speaker as his supporters and detractors refused to budge in their votes.

For the seventh time in a row and the fourth time Thursday, 20 Republicans voted for a candidate other than McCarthy. One other voted present. Kevin Hern continued picking up votes from the 20 — he snared seven — while Byron Donalds, who got all 20 votes on Wednesday, got 13.

For the second straight ballot, Ken Buck — who had been voting McCarthy — did not vote, leaving McCarthy with just 200 votes. That's 12 less than the 212 Democrat Hakeem Jeffries has recorded in each of the 10 votes and 18 less than the 218 needed to win the job.

The loss means the speaker race is headed to an 11th ballot — tying it for the sixth-longest speaker selection process, by number of vote rounds, in history. That election took place in 1839.

Negotiators believe they are getting close to a deal


Haley Talbot

Ali Vitali

Haley Talbot, Ali Vitali, Julie Tsirkin and Zoë Richards

After hours negotiating in the office of Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., sources close to the process said they believe the group is close to a “promising” deal and “working on details.”

McCarthy didn’t comment on the potential deal, but throughout the day GOP lawmakers have talked about putting specific demands into writing.

Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., said he expected to see the negotiations’ fruits in writing on Thursday night.

The contours of the demands appear similar to those previously reported by NBC News, with House Freedom Caucus members potentially securing prized slots on committees for banking, appropriations and rules.

McCarthy is on track to lose his 10th round

Tim Homan

McCarthy is headed to a 10th defeat as the House remains at an impasse over picking the next speaker.

More than six GOP lawmakers voted for someone who isn’t McCarthy, meaning an 11th round will be necessary.

Newly elected Arizona Republican nominates McCarthy in 10th round of voting

Rep.-elect Juan Ciscomani, R-Ariz., nominated McCarthy for speaker in the House's 10th round of voting.

"The American dream is a dream worth fighting for, and I know in my hearts of hearts that Kevin McCarthy is the man to lead us as we work to fulfill that dream for everyone in every state and in every district," Ciscomani said.

Ciscomani’s children were in the gallery and cheered for their father as he delivered the speech. During the counting before this speech, his children were heard yelling down to the floor: “Daddy! Daddy!!”

Ciscomani made history when he was elected in November to become the first Latino Republican to represent the state in Congress.

House begins 10th round

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

The House is now on to the 10th round of speaker votes.

McHenry said McCarthy wing has the 'right contours' to get him to be speaker

Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., said Thursday said the bloc supporting McCarthy is "making the right progress" to make McCarthy speaker.

"I think we have the right contours that enable us to get Kevin McCarthy to have a majority vote," he told reporters.

McHenry continued, "We’ve had members that have held out in the hopes of getting more conservative policy to the floor, but I think we can get there."

Speaker bid heading to extra innings as McCarthy fails 9th time

It was strike 9 for McCarthy on Thursday after 20 Republicans again voted for another candidate for speaker, leaving him well short of the 218 votes needed to win the job.

The vote was the sixth in a row over the past two days in which McCarthy lost by the same margin of Republicans voting against him. One of the rebel Republicans voted for a different candidate than in the previous round, with Matt Gaetz backing Kevin Hern. Gaetz had voted for former President Trump in the day's two earlier votes.

Hern ended up with three votes, while Byron Donalds got 17. Victoria Spartz again voted present.

Another Republican who'd voted for McCarthy in the previous eight rounds, Ken Buck of Colorado, did not vote at all in the ninth ballot, leaving McCarthy with 200 votes. It's unclear why Buck didn't vote. Buck suggested Wednesday he could be open to voting for a different candidate if McCarthy didn't begin to show momentum.

The loss means the speaker race is headed to a 10th ballot — tying the 1834 10th ballot.

McCarthy set to lose ninth round

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

McCarthy is headed to a ninth defeat as the House remains paralyzed in quest to elect a speaker. More than six Republicans voted for someone who isn't McCarthy, ensuring a 10th round.

House begins ninth round of speaker votes

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

The House has begun the ninth round of votes for speaker.

Republican lawmaker says speaker fight is 'bad for the GOP brand'

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., who represents a district President Joe Biden carried, said the prolonged battle over electing a House speaker could have consequences for Republicans across the party if they’re lumped in with the McCarthy detractors.

"I think it’s bad — bad for the GOP brand. The folks out in all over America aren’t going to say it’s 20. They're going to group us together,” Bacon told reporters on Thursday.

Bacon has consistently voted for McCarthy over the eight failed ballots and suggested that Republicans may have to team up with Democrats to elect a centrist speaker, although other Republicans say that idea is off the table.

"This is on that 20 people that refuse to be part of the team, all of that," Bacon said

GOP lawmaker says his office can't perform certain functions due to speaker hold-up

As Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy appeared poised to lose his eighth speaker vote, Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., said on that the delay is costing lawmakers the ability to help their constituents navigate federal agencies.

Constituent services, helping residents of their districts with issues in front of various federal agencies, is a less-heralded duty tasked to congressional offices.

Bacon has expressed frustration with the stalemate, even publicly floating the possibility of working with Democrats to break the logjam.

House now tied for 8th longest speaker vote in U.S. history

The failure to elect a speaker on the eighth ballot means the House is now tied for the eighth-longest speaker selection process, by number of vote rounds, in history.

If McCarthy is elected on the ninth ballot, it would tie the 1923 speaker election, which was also settled with the ninth vote. There were seven other speaker elections that required more ballots. The 1923 Congress was also the last time there were multiple votes for speaker.

The record is 133 rounds of votes, which took place in 1855-56. The second longest number of rounds was 63, which took place in 1849.

If unsuccessful on the ninth round of votes, the House would then tie the 1834 speaker's race, which ended on the 10th ballot.

Octo-naught: McCarthy loses 8th bid for speaker by same margin

McCarthy lost his eighth bid for speaker with the same amount of Republican defections as he had Wednesday and earlier Thursday.

Twenty Republicans again voted for a candidate other than McCarthy, with a new name added into the mix — Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, who got two votes. Byron Donalds, who got all 20 votes Wednesday, got 17, and Trump got one.

Rep. Spartz again voted present.

McCarthy says he hasn't spoken with Trump today as votes drag on

While former President Trump tried to give McCarthy a boost Wednesday by calling lawmakers and issuing a supportive statement, the California congressman said he and Trump had yet to speak Thursday.

"From today, I haven't spoken to him," McCarthy told reporters. He is, however, speaking to many others while he tries to reach the 218 votes needed to become speaker.

"I think we just keep talking," McCarthy said.

McConnell's press secretary pokes fun at GOP lawmaker's jab

Doug Andres, the press secretary for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., tweeted a gif of McConnell smirking and raising his hand in response to remarks by Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla.

Andres quote tweeted remarks by Mast, who nominated McCarthy during the eighth ballot in the speaker election. In praising McCarthy, Mast said the GOP House leader is “not” McConnell nor former House Speakers Paul Ryan or John Boehner.

McCarthy poised to lose an 8th time

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

After more than five Republicans defected, McCarthy is poised to lose an eighth ballot.

Boebert, Brecheen vote for Rep. Kevin Hern, Gaetz votes for Trump again

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

During the eighth ballot vote for speaker, Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., and Rep.-elect Josh Brecheen, R-Okla., voted for a different Kevin: Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma.

Hern, a Republican, had not been named in any previous ballot vote. He has served in the House since 2018 and has been voting for McCarthy for speaker.

Then, for the second time on Thursday, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., cast a vote for Trump.

Boebert on Wednesday evening hinted at nominating Hern during an interview on MSNBC's "The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle."

"Maybe it’s someone who is not in Congress," she said. "Maybe it’s someone like a Kevin Hern, who is the chairman of the Republican Study Committee."

Scott Perry nearly misses speaker vote

Scott Perry, a key member of the 20 Republicans opposing McCarthy's speaker bid, almost missed his chance to vote Thursday.

Perry was meeting with a McCarthy ally when his name was initially called during roll call and was in the middle of an interview with Fox News by the time his final opportunity to vote came up.

Rep. Andrew Clyde was trying to get him to run onto the floor as the interview ended. "I'm trying, dude!" Perry replied. He was able to cast his vote for Donalds just as the clerk was closing the ballot.

Eighth round of speaker voting begins

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

After McCarthy failed to get enough votes on the seventh round, the House began voting an eighth time.

FIRST READ: GOP speaker fight has been brewing for 10 years

The House speaker stalemate is only the latest installment of a Republican-on-Republican fight that’s been playing out for a decade. It’s just that this fight has been delayed or papered over — until now. 

In 2013-2014, then-Speaker John Boehner and allies postponed the GOP’s conflict between its governing wing and far-right wing by placating conservatives with the Benghazi committee (remember that?).

After Boehner exited as speaker, House Republicans of all factions united around Paul Ryan, who succeeded Boehner. Then came Donald Trump’s presidency, which kept Republicans together while they held the majority.

But now there’s no Benghazi committee, Paul Ryan or Donald Trump to bring House Republicans together over what’s supposed to be the EASIEST VOTE they’ll take over the next two years.

Read more of First Read here.

New day, same result for McCarthy

The seventh time was not the charm for McCarthy on Thursday.

The California congressman failed to reach the threshold of 218 votes needed to become speaker, with the same 20 Republicans that voted against him Wednesday standing firm despite more concessions from McCarthy and his allies.

There was one change from Wednesday, when the 20 all voted in favor of Byron Donalds in three separate votes. Matt Gaetz cast his vote in favor of former President Donald Trump, who's been backing McCarthy.

Republican Rep. Victoria Spartz did not vote for any candidate and simply voted present, as she also did on Wednesday.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy listens before the House of Representatives votes for a seventh time for a new speaker on Jan, 5, 2023.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy listens before the House of Representatives votes for a seventh time for a new speaker.Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images

Rep. Scott Perry, McCarthy opponent, says he's upset about leaks: 'Confidences betrayed do not inspire trust'

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Ali Vitali

Rebecca Shabad and Ali Vitali

Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., a McCarthy opponent, left a closed-door meeting Thursday with GOP lawmakers from both factions saying he was frustrated that details of the negotiations have been leaked to the press.

"Confidences betrayed do not inspire trust," he told reporters.

Several pro- and anti-McCarthy GOP lawmakers flock to Emmer’s office amid seventh ballot

Ali Vitali and Summer Concepcion

As the House began to vote for a seventh time this week on a new speaker, a group of GOP lawmakers peeled off to huddle in the office of top McCarthy ally Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn.

Among those in Emmer’s office were McCarthy opponents Reps. Chip Roy of Texas, Byron Donalds of Florida, Dan Bishop of North Carolina and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.

McCarthy allies French Hill of Arkansas and Garret Graves of Louisiana were also in Emmer’s office.

Emmer and Donalds walked to the floor briefly amid the meeting, presumably to catch up on the votes they missed. They didn't share details of the meeting, joking at one point that they were “playing cards” in the room.

Asked if the game had a winner yet and if it was McCarthy, Emmer joked “Donalds wins every time” before both rejoined the meeting. 

Rep. Matt Gaetz votes for Trump for House speaker

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who has consistently voted against McCarthy, cast his seventh ballot for former President Donald Trump.

It was the first time Trump received a vote this year. The former president, who has announced another White House bid for 2024, has not expressed in any interest in the speaker job. One doesn't need to be a House member to be elected speaker.

McCarthy poised to fail in seventh round of voting

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

McCarthy is poised to fail in the seventh round of voting for speaker of the House after more than six Republicans defected, leaving him short once again of the support needed.

Dems roar after Rep. Bishop says GOP could have elected first Black speaker

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., said in his speech nominating Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., for speaker that Republicans could have elected the first Black speaker.

Bishop was referring to Donalds, but Democrats began cheering and chanting, "Hakeem! Hakeem! Hakeem." Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., has been receiving the plurality of the vote for the ballots.

Bishop said he sat with Donalds when another elected representative, Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., tweeted that the GOP was using Donalds as a prop.

"I've spent a good bit of time with Mr. Donalds, especially lately," Bishop said. "He ain't no prop."

"This is the tired old grotesquely racist rhetoric that we’ve seen far too long," he said.

Rep.-elect John James, a potential Michigan Senate candidate, nominates McCarthy

Rep.-elect John James, R-Mich., nominated McCarthy for speaker during the seventh round of votes.

James' name has been mentioned as a potential candidate to replace Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who announced Thursday she would not seek re-election in 2024.

James lost to Stabenow in 2018 and won a House seat in November.

“JJ is running,” one veteran of Michigan GOP politics texted Thursday as James delivered his nominating speech. “This speech proves it.” The source, who does not have direct knowledge of James' plans, requested anonymity to share speculation. 

House clerk demands decorum as chamber heads into third day of votes

There are no rules, technically, in the House.

That's because without a speaker settled, the House hasn't gone to the next items on the agenda, like passing the rules.

But House clerk Cheryl Johnson — who is in charge of the chamber until a speaker is selected — made clear that the clerk is responsible for preserving “order and decorum.”

Johnson urged members-elect to address remarks through the chair, instead of other members-elect.

Boebert reiterates opposition to McCarthy bid, says 'there is a trust issue'

Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, a key McCarthy opponent, said Thursday she still won't support McCarthy's speakership bid regardless of any concessions he may offer at this point.

"I don’t know what negotiations he could come up with that get the even more people now that were against him on board," she said. She added, "It was never a personal issue. There is a trust issue for sure."

Seventh round of speaker votes begins

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

The House has begun its seventh round of voting for speaker.

House reconvenes

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

At noon, the House reconvened for a third day as the battle to elect a speaker continued.

The chamber should hear a prayer and say the pledge of allegiance before getting down to business.

McCarthy says he's had 'very productive' meetings with members he has spoken with

Speaking with reporters, McCarthy said all of the members he talked to have been “very productive” in their discussions and ideas amid his efforts to salvage his bid for speakership.

“I think we’re having good discussions,” McCarthy said. “I think we’ll be able to find a solution. And the good thing about it is if we work this all out in a day, we’ll have the rest of Congress.”

As he walked back to the speaker’s office, McCarthy said everyone’s attitudes in meetings signal that “they want to find a solution and that’s positive.”

Elon Musk backs McCarthy, then suggests he should run instead

Elon Musk, who took control of Twitter in late October, voiced his support for GOP leader Kevin McCarthy's speakership bid amid the party's stalemate.

"Kevin McCarthy should be Speaker," Musk tweeted Thursday morning.

Later Thursday morning, Musk appeared to be questioning that support, tweeting, "Subtle, but I am beginning to suspect opinions differ on this matter. ... If not McCarthy, then seriously who?"

Minutes later he answered his own question:

This isn’t the first time Musk has voiced his support for Republicans. A day before the November midterm elections, Musk urged “independent-minded” Americans to elect a Republican Congress “given the Presidency is Democratic.” Musk has also previously voiced his support of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2024 if he runs for president.

GOP lawmaker reiterates opposition to McCarthy: 'You don't ever have to ask me again'

Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., who voted against McCarthy for all six ballots in the past two days, said his opposition to the GOP leader’s bid for speakership hasn’t wavered.

“I’m absolutely a no. You don’t ever have to ask me again if I’m a no. Never have to ask me again if I’m a no on Kevin McCarthy,” Good told reporters in a video posted to Twitter. “I will never vote for Kevin McCarthy.”

Hannity grills Boebert over GOP deadlock: 'Is this a game show?'

Fox News host Sean Hannity and Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., had a tense exchange during the far-right lawmaker’s appearance Wednesday night.

Hannity and Boebert sparred as the Fox News host repeatedly pressed her about the faction of Republicans who refuse to back McCarthy’s bid for speaker, causing McCarthy to fall short of the simple majority required to win the race.

“Isn’t it time for you and your side to pack it in considering he [McCarthy] has over 200 [votes] and you have 20?” Hannity asked Boebert.

After Boebert expressed her dismay with the GOP leader, Hannity asked who she would want as speaker. Boebert replied that she’s willing to have conversation with the GOP conference to come up with a “consensus candidate.”

Boebert later floated the idea of nominating former President Donald Trump, whose endorsement of McCarthy fell flat.

“Is this a game show? Like we’re gonna pick Jim Jordan one day, Trump the other day?” Hannity fired back.

House Dem whip says caucus will keep voting in speaker race

House Democratic whip Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass, said her caucus will stick around and continue voting in the speaker race.

“We are here. We are in full attendance. And we are going to remain so,” Clark said.

She said Democrats will stay through the weekend if needed.

“Yes, and this is not a hard sell,” Clark said.

Here's who is voting against McCarthy for speaker

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

The following 20 House Republicans have voted against McCarthy for speaker:

  1. Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona
  2. Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina
  3. Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado
  4. Rep.-elect Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma
  5. Rep. Michael Cloud of Texas
  6. Rep.-elect Eli Crane of Arizona
  7. Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia
  8. Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida
  9. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida
  10. Rep. Bob Good of Virginia
  11. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona
  12. Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland
  13. Rep.-elect Anna Paulina Luna of Florida
  14. Rep. Mary Miller of Illinois
  15. Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina
  16. Rep.-elect Andy Ogles of Tennessee
  17. Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania
  18. Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana
  19. Rep. Chip Roy of Texas
  20. Rep.-elect Keith Self of Texas

McCarthy ally concedes the GOP leader may not be able to win over all of his detractors

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, said Thursday that McCarthy "may never make it to 218" votes in his quest to secure the speaker's gavel.

"The tough part is I think the number that will never vote for Kevin McCarthy is more than, is more than four," Davidson, a McCarthy ally, said in an interview on CNN. 218 is the number he currently needs to win over assuming the entire chamber votes.

Davidson suggested there are "a couple procedural paths" where McCarthy could become speaker if Republicans changed the threshold needed to win the election. Any lawmaker voting present or not voting also lowers the threshold below 218.

Asked about the possibility of McCarthy withdrawing from the race, Davidson said that’s for both the conference and McCarthy to decide, but noted that even if someone else were to run, there are people who only want to support McCarthy.

Davidson added that if McCarthy can't secure the speakership, "We can go through the coping phases and everything else, and be mad about it, but at some point, we have to say, we have to have a speaker."

GOP lawmaker who voted against motion to adjourn appeared on 'Shark Tank'

Prior to entering politics, Rep.-elect Eli Crane, R-Ariz., was known as a former Navy SEAL and small business owner in Tucson. Crane on Wednesday voted against the motion to adjourn proceedings alongside three of McCarthy's most prominent opponents; Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Andy Biggs of Arizona.

Prior to his congressional run, Crane and his wife started a company called “Bottle Breacher” that produces hand-crafted .50-caliber bottle openers — a venture that billionaire Mark Cuban backed on the TV show "Shark Tank."

On his campaign website, Crane describes his business as one that “employs and gives back to veterans nationwide.”

As McCarthy flails, Republicans refuse to cut a speaker deal with Democrats

WASHINGTON — Many House Republicans are furious with a band of far-right rebels who they say are holding the party hostage by repeatedly rejecting its nominee for speaker.

But there’s one thing they’re so far unwilling to do: work with a faction of Democrats to elect a centrist speaker to govern the narrow GOP majority and teach the rabble-rousers a lesson.

“That’s really off the table,” said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., who has built a reputation as an institutionalist over the years. “I don’t think anybody voted to do that. I don’t think that works very well in any time. I think it’s particularly unsuited to these times. The polarization is too great.”

Cole said that for all the House GOP divisions, “there’s no question” that most members in the caucus are closer in policy and vision to the anti-McCarthy rebels than they are to centrist Democrats.

Read the full story here.

McCarthy on whether he has the votes today: 'We'll see'

McCarthy arrived on Capitol Hill Thursday, where the House is expected to attempt to elect a speaker for a third day in a row.

He told reporters that he believes progress is being made toward his election, adding that it is a "good sign" that Republicans are having conversations about a path forward.

Asked directly whether he has the votes, he said, "We'll see."

Biden puts bipartisanship on display as House Republicans feud

Carol E. LeeCarol E. Lee is the Washington managing editor.

COVINGTON, Ky. — A key part of the White House plan to combat the new House GOP majority was on vivid display Wednesday: President Joe Biden talked about bridges and bipartisanship, while Republicans bickered among themselves.

As Biden celebrated an upgrade to an aging bridge linking Kentucky and Ohio, House Republicans deadlocked on the basic task of electing a speaker, foreshadowing what is likely to be two years of infighting.

There is little doubt that once Republicans figure out who will run the House, they plan to aim the chamber’s subpoena power straight at Biden.

Read the full story here.

Pelosi calls GOP chaos 'sad'

Liz Brown-Kaiser

Summer Concepcion and Liz Brown-Kaiser

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she finds the impasse among Republicans to elect a speaker “sad” and accused them of treating the process as a “frivolous matter.”

“You see this frivolity and this cavalier attitude of our responsibilities here in this Congress, that’s very sad,” Pelosi told reporters Wednesday night.

Pelosi also appeared to criticize Republicans who took “deals” to secure support for McCarthy in the speaker’s race. The McCarthy-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund and the conservative Club for Growth agreed to not pick sides in some competitive House GOP primary races in exchange for supporting McCarthy's bid for speaker.

“The service should be taken seriously by those who serve instead of the frivolity of making deals on who’s going to be supported in elections in primaries, to have a reflection on what the responsibilities are in the Congress of the United States,” Pelosi said. “So it’s sad.”

McCarthy makes concessions heading into third day of House votes

During the six speaker votes this week, 20 conservatives have stuck together to deny GOP leader Kevin McCarthy of California the 218 votes needed to win the speaker’s gavel. Because Republicans won a paper-thin majority in November, nearly all of their 222 members will need to agree on a pick for speaker.

The chaotic process moves to a seventh ballot when the House reconvenes at noon on Thursday. But while McCarthy allies and foes remained deadlocked on Wednesday, there were some real signs of progress.

McCarthy offered a package of key concessions to his right-wing detractors, including reinstating a rule that a single House member could force a vote to oust the speaker in the middle of the Congress, according to Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., one of the leaders of the anti-McCarthy group. Earlier, McCarthy had agreed that a “motion to vacate” only could be made with support from at least five members.

“Anyone, anywhere, anytime,” Gaetz said about the power members will have to call for a vote of confidence in their speaker. 

Read the full story here.