Home speaker election enters second day as Kevin McCarthy seeks deal
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives entered a second day without an elected speaker on Wednesday, after Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., failed to win three consecutive votes on Tuesday to won the 218 votes needed to win the coveted post.
But after negotiations with Republicans that lasted until Tuesday night, McCarthy was unlikely to win over the 20 members of his caucus who had refused to back him earlier in the day. before.
The failed vote marked the first time in 100 years that the majority party in the House of Commons failed to elect a speaker on the first ballot. The fierce opposition to McCarthy from a core group of the Republican Party grew louder throughout the day, plunging the party into chaos.
The House of Representatives is scheduled to convene at 12 noon Wednesday, and members of both sides have been informed that there is likely to be a fourth vote on the speaker.
But this course of events is still up in the air late in the morning. If Republican and Democratic leaders decide there’s no point holding a vote on Wednesday, the House could also adjourn for the day, giving McCarthy and his subordinates more 24 hours to negotiate with the far right in the party.
However, there seems to be little change, public or private, between Tuesday and Wednesday. Both McCarthy’s allies and his opponents delivered a fruitful message in Wednesday interviews they’ve been doing for weeks: We’re not going to budge.
An exception to the stalemate is a new endorsement for McCarthy from the former President Donald Trumpwho on Tuesday afternoon initially issued an uncertain note about the political future of one of his most loyal allies in Congress.
“Republic, DON’T TURN THE HUGE WIN into a HUGE AND Ugly Fail,” Trump posted on his Truth Social website Wednesday morning. “IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE. Kevin McCarthy will do a great job and maybe even a GREAT JOB – WATCH!”
Despite Trump’s broad support among conservative Republican voters, it’s unclear whether his new endorsement will shift the needle to any support in Congress. While the group of 20 far-right Republicans are all close allies of Trump, the former president’s name and his “America First” message have been noticeably absent from the intra-party debate. Republic is happening behind closed doors.
McCarthy himself is tight-lipped Tuesday through Wednesday, and he refuses to give interviews or post his message on television or on social media.
When asked Wednesday morning what his plans would be, NBC News reported that McCarthy told reporters at the Capitol, “The game plan is the same as yesterday.”
When a journalist asked how he could get more votes, McCarthy replied, “We’re sitting, we’re talking… I think we can get to 218.”
Instead, he authorized a handful of allies to negotiate with non-supporters, many of whom identify with the Freedom Caucus, a loosely organized 40-plus-member caucus led by the House of Representatives. Pennsylvania Republican led by Scott Perry, one of the most outspoken opponents of McCarthy’s speaker campaign. .
This is a developing story, please check back for updates.