Kevin McCarthy Speaker of the House
- The final vote tally was 216 for Kevin McCarthy, 211 for Democrat Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and six ‘present’ votes
- After the 14th ballot left McCarthy one vote short of the speakership, he immediately walked over to ‘present’ voters Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz
- Rep. Mike Rogers then lunged at Gaetz and had to be held back by Rep. Richard Hudson before an all-out fist fight could break out on the House floor
On the 15th ballot during a four-day series, Rep. Kevin McCarthy finally won the coveted title: Speaker of the House.
‘That was easy, huh?’ McCarthy began in his victory speech, shortly after South Carolina Rep. Mike Rogers had to stop him from attacking Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz.
The two Republicans nearly came to blows over Gaetz’s refusal to endorse McCarthy on the 14th ballot, costing him that race, and the violent clash came as tempers frayed over the mammoth voting process.
Hakeem, I must warn you, two years ago I got 100 percent of the votes in my conference,” McCarthy continued in an attempt to act as a peacemaker.
He looked at Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, whose party was united behind him during the race for the speakership.
‘Leader Jeffries, there will be times when we agree. And many times we will differ. I promise our discussions will be passionate but never personal,” McCarthy said.
‘Now, the hard work begins.’
“We are going to pass bills to address the nation’s challenges, from the wide-open southern borders to the latest US energy policies to indoctrination in our schools,” he added. We’ll use the power of the bag and the power of the subpoena to get the job done.
The new president added: ‘We will also address America’s long-term challenges: debt and the Chinese Communist Party. Congress must speak with one voice on these two issues.’
He said one of the House’s “first hearings” would be on the US-Mexico border and that the first bill he would introduce would be to “repeal funding for 87,000 new IRS agents.”
After the longest vote for the gavel since the Civil War, McCarthy’s victory was confirmed on the final vote at 12:30 a.m. Saturday morning when four hardline Republicans conceded by voting ‘present’.
His victory followed utter chaos on the House floor when Republican Rep. Mike Rogers lunged at Matt Gaetz and his colleagues had to stop him.
Kevin McCarthy becomes Speaker on 15th ballot after violent scenes in Congress
The Republican House achieved its victory by making significant concessions to the group of rebels who have demanded more power in the party.
After four protracted days of multiple elections and flagging patience, McCarthy turned more than a dozen reluctant conservatives into supporters, including the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, leaving him within steps of taking the gavel for the new Congress.
When the House resumed for Friday night session, the California Republican had been on the cusp of victory in round 14 but fell short by one vote.
But after the 15th ballot an ‘USA’ chant broke out. among strident Republicans when House Secretary Cheryl Johnson announced that McCarthy would preside over the 118th Congress.
On the final ballot, four Republican holdouts — Reps. Bob Good, Virginia, Eli Crane, Ariz., Matt Rosendale, Mont., and Andy Biggs, Ariz. — changed their votes to ‘present,’ giving McCarthy the majority vote. he needed for victory.
They joined Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Lauren Boebert of Colorado in switching to ‘present’ votes after days of voting for a candidate other than McCarthy.
The final vote count was 216 for McCarthy, 212 for the Democratic leader, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, and six “present” votes.
In the final vote, even Gaetz rose to his feet to applaud with most of the rest of the caucus when McCarthy cast his vote for himself. It was reported that Gaetz would vote “yes” for McCarthy in this final round, but did not after it became clear that McCarthy would win even if he continued to vote present.
Moments earlier, utter chaos erupted on the floor of the House of Representatives when the 14th president’s ticket left McCarthy one vote away.
The California Republican immediately reached out to Gaetz and Boebert, presumably intending to persuade them to change their “current” votes to “yes.”
Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama then lunged at Gaetz and had to be held back by Rep. Richard Hudson of North Carolina before a fistfight broke out on the House floor.
‘Stay civilized!’ someone yelled.
Republicans moved quickly to adjourn, but then McCarthy was quick to swing his vote to stay in session as his colleagues chanted “One more time!”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, a McCarthy ally and Trump acolyte, reportedly approached Rosendale and told him that Trump was on the phone and that
Rep. Lauren Boebert also received a round of applause for changing her vote from Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma to ‘present’.
Before the vote, veteran McCarthy defector Gaetz said on Fox News: “I’m running out of things to ask for.”
For days, the Florida firebrand bragged that the only way he would vote for McCarthy would be if the concessions in the rules put him in a “straitjacket.”
The debate took place on the second anniversary of the January 6 attack, and the irony did not go unnoticed.
McCarthy told reporters earlier that he would have the votes to become House speaker as the House moved to adjourn until 10 p.m.
“You’ll call me the Comeback Kid,” the California Republican boasted after losing an unprecedented 13 races for president.
When asked how he knew he would get the votes on the 14th ballot, he sarcastically replied, “Because I counted them.”
In a startling development, the GOP leader won more votes than he has seen in the last four days of the charade after his party held a conference call to try to reach a deal with hardliners who have sunk his candidacy.
McCarthy managed to garner 214 votes in the last round of elections, leaving him missing the hammer but tempting close to victory.
The room for maneuver comes after days of deadlock and crucial negotiations over concessions on Friday morning.
The rebels backed down after McCarthy made further concessions in a package that includes votes on lawmakers’ term limits and border security, the motion to vacate the president and more roles in House committees.
Rep. Keith Self of Texas changed his vote because he supported ‘significant’ rule changes that were made overnight.
“It has become clear to me that a couple of individuals are simply obstructionists, more interested in self-promotion than restoring the republic,” he said.
McCarthy had previously agreed to allow more members of the conservative Freedom Caucus to serve on the House Rules Committee, which dictates which bills make it to the full House.
He also agreed that his leadership, the PAC, would stay out of safe primaries, allowing conservatives to challenge more moderate Republicans in red-light districts.
McCarthy also agreed to form a Church-style committee to pursue the militarization of the Justice Department and the FBI, named after the late Sen. Frank Church, who oversaw intelligence agency investigations.
Republican Rep. Mike Waltz of Florida told DailyMail.com that he has “some issues” with the concessions McCarthy made to House Rebels, but “nothing that can’t be resolved.”
He said he would not at all support the reported $76 billion cut in Defense spending that was reportedly part of the Freedom Caucus deal McCarthy made.
No House speaker vote has lasted this long in modern US political history, and it has given the new majority of Republicans in the house a rocky start.
In 1856, former Speaker of the House Nathaniel Prentice Banks took two months and 133 rounds of voting in the House of Representatives to decide on a leader, the longest period on record.
In the first round of voting on Friday, Rep. Matt Gaetz nominated Jordan and lashed out at McCarthy, prompting roughly two dozen angry members of his caucus to stage a walkout in the House.
Gaetz called McCarthy “the Lebron James of special interest fundraising.” He said McCarthy’s candidacy for Speaker was an “exercise in vanity” fueled by “personal ambition”.
“That ambition is paralyzing the House now,” Gaetz said.
You only earn the position of Speaker of the House. If you can get the votes. Mr. McCarthy doesn’t have the votes today. He won’t have the votes tomorrow and he won’t have the votes next week, next month, next year.’
At one point, Republican Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois stood up and began yelling at Gaetz before he was silenced by House Clerk Cheryl Johnson.
Smugly, Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana walked out of the chamber beginning his vote with ‘Kevin…’ and pausing before adding ‘Hern!’ followed by groans from the Republican delegation supporting McCarthy.Read More…..