Republicans Can’t Figure Out the Speaker Situation

The 118th Congress began at 12:00 pm, but members are still a long way from figuring out who will serve as Speaker of the House. The House will soon go into its third round on voting after 19 conservatives voted against Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on the first two ballots. Of Republicans in Georgia’s House delegation, only Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) voted against McCarthy. 

It has been 100 years since the last time it took multiple rounds for the House to elect a Speaker. Frederick Gillett was reelected as Speaker after nine rounds of voting. However, that pales in comparison to the 133 rounds (and two months!) it took to elect Nathaniel Banks in February 1856. A Georgian, Howell Cobb, was elected Speaker in December 1849 after 63 rounds. 

Results for the First Round

Kevin McCarthy (R-GA)203
Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)212
Andy Biggs (R-AZ)10
Jim Jordan (R-OH)6
Jim Banks (R-IN)1
Lee Zeldin1
Byron Donalds (R-FL)1
McCarthy, Jeffries, and Biggs were nominated from the floor. A member may vote for whomever he or she wants, including individuals who are not members of the House. Jordan voted for McCarthy. Zeldin is no longer a member of the House.

Results for the Second Round

Kevin McCarthy (R-GA)203
Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)212
Jim Jordan (R-OH)19
McCarthy, Jeffries, and Jordan were nominated from the floor. Jordan nominated and voted for McCarthy on the second round.

Conservatives wanted McCarthy to agree to a number of House and conference rule changes, including the motion to vacate the chair, which would undoubtedly be weaponized against whomever is Speaker. This is why Democrats gutted it at the beginning of the 117th Congress. McCarthy acquiesced to their demands, but that hasn’t softened conservative opposition. 

As the House heads into the third ballot, one has to wonder how much longer McCarthy can hold out if the 19 conservatives continue to oppose him. 

One Reply to “Republicans Can’t Figure Out the Speaker Situation”

  1. It’s not like their slim majority sent them back with a mandate.

    I don’t know what label applies to some of these far right populists, but if MTG is a conservative then I ain’t one.

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