Editor’s note: This piece has been updated to reflect the fifth round of voting on Wednesday. Later in the day, there would be a sixth round without any candidate having enough votes to be elected.
The next speaker of the House is still up in the air after the fifth round of voting on Wednesday failed to produce a clear winner.
Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, nominated Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., again nominated Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.; and Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., nominated Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla.
As with the fourth round of voting, 20 Republicans voted for Donalds in the fifth round. They include Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Andrew Clyde of Georgia, Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Michael Cloud of Texas, Eli Crane of Arizona, Donalds, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Andy Harris of Maryland, Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, Bob Good of Virginia, Mary Miller of Illinois, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Andy Ogles of Tennessee, Matt Rosendale of Montana, Chip Roy of Texas, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, and Keith Self of Texas.
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, nominated Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., to the House speaker position; Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., nominated Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; and Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., again nominated Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy failed to secure the majority of votes in the fourth and fifth round of voting. He received 201 votes in both rounds.
McCarthy also failed to secure the majority of votes in any of the three rounds on Tuesday. The Californian received 203 votes in rounds one and two, and 202 in the third round, The Associated Press reported, making it the first time since 1923 that choosing a House speaker required multiple ballots.
McCarthy, 57, needs a total of 218 votes to win the speakership.
This represents McCarthy’s second attempt to become speaker since he was first elected in 2006. He served as House majority leader under two Republican speakers, Ohio’s John Boehner and Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan.
House Democrats already had nominated Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York to be minority leader. Jeffries succeeds House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California in leading Democrats as Republicans take a slim majority in the House following the results of the Nov. 8 midterm elections.
Jeffries received 212 votes for the House speaker during the fourth round of voting on Wednesday. The New York Democrat received 212 votes for House speaker—nine more than McCarthy—in the first round Tuesday, The Daily Signal previously reported.
The New York Democrat received the same number of votes on the second and third ballots, Fox News reported.
Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., voted “present” in the fourth and fifth rounds of voting.
President Joe Biden discussed the House speaker vote on Wednesday morning.
“With regard to the fight over the speaker—that’s not my problem. I just think that it is embarrassing the way it has taken so long and the way they are treating one another,” Biden said. “And the rest of the world looking, looking at, you know, can we get our act together and what I focus on getting things done.”
“It’s not a good thing. It’s the United States of America. And I hope they get their act together,” Biden also said.
Former President Donald Trump endorsed McCarthy for the speaker of the House position in Wednesday morning Truth Social post.
“Some really good conversations took place last night, and it’s now time for all of our GREAT Republican House Members to VOTE FOR KEVIN, CLOSE THE DEAL. TAKE THE VICTORY & WATCH CRAZY NANCY PELOSI FLY BACK HOME TO A VERY BROKEN CALIFORNIA, THE ONLY SPEAKER IN U.S. HISTORY TO HAVE LOST THE ‘HOUSE’ TWICE!” the former president wrote.
“REPUBLICANS, DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT. IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT. Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB – JUST WATCH!” wrote Trump, who announced his third bid for the White House in November.
“Sad!” the Florida congressman said in a statement, Fox News first reported. “This changes neither my view of McCarthy nor Trump nor my vote.”
Gaetz also tweeted, “Supporting McCarthy is the worst Human Resources decision President Trump has ever made. Sad!”
McCarthy has already moved into and begun working in the speaker’s office in the U.S. Capitol. Gaetz sent a letter to Brett Blanton, the Architect of the Capitol, on Tuesday regarding McCarthy’s move.
“I write to inform you that the Speaker of the House Office located in the U.S. Capitol Building is currently occupied by Rep. Kevin McCarthy. As of this morning, the 117th Congress adjourned sine die, and a Speaker from the 118th Congress has not been elected,” Gaetz, who tweeted the letter, wrote. “After three undeciding votes, no member can lay claim to this office.”
“What is the basis in law, House rule, or precedent to allow someone who has placed second in three successive speaker elections to occupy the Speaker of the House Office? How long will he remain there before he is considered a squatter?” Gaetz wrote.
Twenty House Republicans on Tuesday voted for candidates other than McCarthy, such as Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; Jim Banks, R-Ind.; Donalds; and former Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y.
The 20 House Republicans include:
- Andy Biggs of Arizona
- Dan Bishop of North Carolina
- Eli Crane of Arizona
- Paul Gosar of Arizona
- Matt Gaetz of Florida
- Byron Donalds of Florida
- Bob Good of Virginia
- Anna Paulina Luna of Florida
- Chip Roy of Texas
- Keith Self of Texas
- Andrew Clyde of Georgia
- Andy Harris of Maryland
- Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma
- Matt Rosendale of Montana
- Mary Miller of Illinois
- Lauren Boebert of Colorado
- Andy Ogles of Tennessee
- Michael Cloud of Texas
- Ralph Norman of South Carolina
- Scott Perry of Pennsylvania
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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