Kevin McCarthy Edging Closer to Speakership Victory

He's just a few votes shy as the House adjourns until Friday night
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2023 12:29 PM CST
Updated Jan 6, 2023 2:49 PM CST
Kevin McCarthy Begins Day 4 With a Losing Vote
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy arrives as the House meets for the fourth day to try to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Will Friday bring the House a new speaker? Possibly, but day four of the Kevin McCarthy saga began in familiar fashion: McCarthy failed to secure the necessary number of votes on the 12th and 13th ballots. The House then adjourned and will reconvene at 10pm. Though McCarthy lost, he did move significantly closer to victory. He received 214 votes on the 13th ballot, his highest total yet, with the Washington Post reporting that 15 GOP hardliners have flipped their votes in his favor. A total of six Republicans voted against McCarthy on the most recent ballot. The threshold for victory is typically 218 votes, but that can change depending on how many lawmakers actually vote.

"I'll have the votes," McCarthy told CNN upon leaving the chamber on Friday. Before the day's voting began, McCarthy suggested in a GOP conference call that he was making progress on a deal with the hardliners blocking his election, reports the Hill. “I’m not telling you we have an agreement," said McCarthy on the call. "We’re in a good position and have meetings." McCarthy's camp reportedly now views Rep. Matt Gaetz as the single biggest obstacle to a winning vote because of his apparent sway with fellow holdouts.

The six GOP holdouts in the anti-McCarthy camp heading into Friday night:

  • Rep. Andy Biggs (Arizona)
  • Rep. Lauren Boebert (Colorado)
  • Rep.-elect Eli Crane (Arizona)
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz (Florida)
  • Rep. Bob Good (Virginia)
  • Rep. Matt Rosendale (Montana)
This summary has been updated with the latest results. (Read more Kevin McCarthy stories.)

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