US House adjourns without electing next speaker-UPDATED

US House adjourns without electing next speaker-UPDATED
# 04 January 2023 07:10 (UTC +04:00)

The United States House of Representatives has adjourned without electing the next speaker of the House, APA reports citing Teletrader.

Representative Kevin McCarthy lost 19 Republican votes on the first two and 20 on the third ballot, after Representative Byron Donald joined his fellow Republicans to vote against the speaker nominee. The tally of 202 put McCarthy 16 votes short of the total of 218, which he would need to secure the gavel.

The House will reconvene on Wednesday at noon.



A band of ultraconservative rebels on Tuesday blocked House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy from securing the speaker’s gavel in the first vote of the new Republican majority, sending the process to multiple ballots — something the House had not seen in 100 years, APA reports citing

In the dramatic televised vote on the House floor, McCarthy, of California, received support from an overwhelming majority of his GOP Conference, with 203 votes, but that was short of the 218 needed to win a simple majority of the 434 House members present.

Nineteen conservatives cast their votes for other candidates, with the majority backing one of McCarthy’s chief antagonists, former Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs, R-Ariz. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, received six votes, while Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., former Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., and Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., each received one vote.

Meanwhile, Democrats unanimously rallied behind the minority leader, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York. As is customary during the first vote of the new Congress, lawmakers stood and cast their vote for speaker aloud when their name was called. Jeffries ended up with more votes than McCarthy- 212.

It’s unclear where Republicans go from here. Neither McCarthy allies nor his hard-right enemies are backing down. House rules require lawmakers to keep holding votes for speaker until someone secures 218 votes or a simple majority of members voting. No other House business can occur until a speaker is selected, which means floor votes, committee hearings and other congressional work will grind to a halt if Republicans can’t agree on a new leader.

The last time a speaker vote went to multiple ballots was in 1923, when Speaker Frederick Gillett, R-Mass., won re-election on the ninth ballot.

The House moved to a second round of voting shortly after 2 p.m. ET, with Jordan nominating McCarthy as speaker. He told his fellow Republicans that their differences "pale in comparison" to those between Republicans and Democrats. "We better come together," Jordan said, adding, "I think Kevin McCarthy is the right guy to lead us. I really do."

Jordan was followed by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. — who nominated Jordan for the job. "I'm nominating him and I'm voting for him," Gaetz said.

It’s an inauspicious start for House Republicans, who recaptured the majority in the November midterms but begin the new Congress bitterly divided and without agreement on who should lead the party.

Tuesday's vote caps a weeklong standoff between McCarthy and a small band of far-right members close to former President Donald Trump who vowed to stick together to deny him the speaker’s gavel. Because the GOP’s new 222-212 majority is so thin, as few as five GOP lawmakers are able to block him from winning the 218-vote majority to win on the first round. That would send the process to multiple ballots — and almost certain chaos on the floor — for the first time in 100 years.

Five conservatives — the so-called Never Kevins led by Biggs and Gaetz — said they wouldn’t vote for McCarthy under any circumstance, and urged