A current president and a former one used the word "embarrassing" in reference to the current situation in the House of Representatives, a situation that was unchanged as of midday Wednesday. Kevin McCarthy failed to clinch the vote for House Speaker for a fourth time, in a vote that took place shortly after the House convened at noon. In a twist, a second Republican was nominated: Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida. Donalds ended up with 20 votes, preventing McCarthy from securing a majority. He racked up 201 votes. The Democrats' nominee, Hakeem Jeffries, ended up with 212 votes. One member voted present; that lowers the threshold of votes needed to 217.
Earlier Wednesday, former President Trump took to Truth Social to urge the GOP to get behind McCarthy and avoid an "embarrassing defeat." He wrote in part, per the New York Times, "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!" President Biden, meanwhile, told reporters, "I just think it’s really embarrassing it’s taking so long," noting, "the rest of the world is looking" at what's happening on the House floor, per the AP. This story has been updated with results of the fourth vote. (Read more Kevin McCarthy stories.)