by Nicholas Ballasy
The House of Representatives convened on Friday for the fourth day of voting for speaker and House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy has picked up 15 votes from GOP holdouts but he’s still short of the simple majority needed to win.
The House passed a motion to adjourn until 10pm. McCarthy told reporters he’s confident he will have the votes to win Friday evening.
McCarthy lost the 12th with 213 votes after seven conservatives voted against him. None voted present, according to the official tally. For the first time, McCarthy picked up more votes that House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, who received 211 votes in the 12th round. McCarthy needed 217 votes to win in the 12th round, given that Colorado GOP Rep. Ken Buck, Texas GOP Rep. Wesley Hunt and Maryland Democratic Rep. David Trone were absent but returned for the 13th round. It’s possible that Hunt and Buck might return to Washington as early as Friday evening. In the 13th round, McCarthy lost with 214 votes due to 6 conservatives voting for others.
Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz nominated Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan for speaker ahead of the 12th round of voting.
North Carolina GOP Rep. Dan Bishop, a conservative GOP holdout who opposed McCarthy, voted for the California Republican in the 12th round. House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Scott Perry and Texas GOP Rep. Chip Roy, who were heavily involved in negotiations with McCarthy’s leadership team, also flipped their vote to McCarthy for the first time in the 12th round.
Oklahoma GOP Rep. Josh Brecheen, Illinois GOP Rep. Mary Miller, South Carolina GOP Rep. Ralph Norman, Texas GOP Rep. Michael Cloud, GOP Rep. Andrew Clyde, Florida GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, Florida GOP Rep. Byron Donalds, Texas GOP Rep. Keith Self, Indiana Rep. Victoria Spartz, Arizona GOP Rep. Paul Gosar and Tennesse GOP Rep. Andy Ogles flipped to McCarthy as well.
In the 13th round, McCarthy picked up an additional vote from a GOP holdout: Maryland Republican Rep. Andy Harris.
Since Tuesday, McCarthy has fallen short of the simple majority needed to win speaker due to a group of conservative House Freedom Caucus members consistently voting against him.
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Nicholas Ballasy has been breaking news for more than a decade in the nation’s capital and questioning political leaders about the most pressing issues facing the nation.
Photo “Kevin McCarthy” by Kevin McCarthy.