The major difference in the latest round of voting was the ballot cast by Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) for former President Donald Trump. But it was the only vote Trump received, even though a speakership has been a scenario floated by some of his hardline allies.
The vote was 212 for Democrat Hakeem Jeffries, 201 for McCarthy, 19 for Byron Donalds, and one for Trump. There was thunderous applause as soon as Trump’s name was read.
Members heading to the eighth vote.
First: Kevin McCarthy was set to come up short in the 7th House vote for speaker again on Thursday, as the House returned for a third day of adjournment Congress,
As a roll call progressed after noon ET/9 AM PT, enough votes had been cast for Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) to deny McCarthy the majority he needed.
He and his aides tried last evening and this morning to craft a series of concessions sought by some holdouts, with reports that they include a rule provision that could limit their power. This would essentially allow any one member to introduce a motion to remove him during the next Congress.
But no such deal has been finalized, and not all 20 holdouts are necessarily in sync. This became apparent when Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) cast his 7th speaker vote for “Donald John Trump”. The next speaker does not have to be a member of Congress, but no previous speaker has come from outside.
There was a bit of a clash of competing stories as the House neared its next vote. Breaking the cable news monotony that has characterized coverage since the beginning of the week, Fox News was the only outlet to air President Biden’s border security remarks live this morning. Simultaneously, CNN and MSNBC engaged in nomination speeches for McCarthy from the floor of the House.
As the process is getting longer, there is some desperation visible in the speeches. Incoming Congressman John James from Florida grumbled that “we’re stuck at an impasse and we’re going to be here” unless there was unity on the GOP side. He credited McCarthy with the Republicans’ ability to win back the House in the most recent cycle. James said that the party should “learn to win” and not “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory”.
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC), nominating Donald, inadvertently drew applause from the Democratic side when he said, “Tomorrow we could elect the first black chairman of the assembly of the representatives. Donald and the Democrats’ candidate, party leader Hakeem Jeffries, are black.
But Bishop also criticized a member, without naming him, for tweeting that Donalds was a “prop”. Rep. Corey Bush (D-MO) sent the tweet on Wednesday after Republicans put forward Donald as a McCarthy alternative.
Cheryl Johnson, who was presiding over proceedings with the new leadership’s absence as House Clerk, warned before the vote that members had to “preserve order and decorum in the chamber”. There were moments on Wednesday when members complained that rules were being violated, including a moment when Representative Kat Cammack (R-FL) accused Democrats of drinking as the roll calls were voted on.
House Chaplain Margaret Kibben opened Thursday’s proceedings with a prayer that included context of the past few days’ scenes. “Protect us that in this tangle of indecision we do not expose ourselves to the intrusion of our adversary,” he said.
Dominic Patton contributed to this report.
First: News networks will again focus their attention on the ongoing drama on Capitol Hill, where Kevin McCarthy and his allies are trying to take out 20 dug-in opponents.
The US House is scheduled to meet at noon ET/9 AM PT, but it’s unclear whether members, none of whom have been sworn into the new Congress, will advance to a seventh vote for speaker, or McCarthy’s side. Whether or not an adjournment, giving even more time for negotiations.
What viewers saw on TV Wednesday night was one of the most visible holdouts, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), who appeared on Fox News Hannity and msnbc 11th hour, as host Stephanie Ruhle claimed that opposition to McCarthy was growing despite no votes turning up in three roll calls on Wednesday. In fact, it became so repetitive that Rep. Cat Cammack (R-FL) nominating McCarthy said, “It’s Groundhog Day again.”
But Boebert told Rühle, “As some of my colleagues said, we can stay here until the cherry blossoms bloom.”
She also faced a controversial interview with Sean Hannity, who pressed her, “Who would you support just to be the speaker? It’s not that hard.” Boebert replied, “I am willing to negotiate with the Republican convention to come up with a consensus candidate.” Hannity pointed out several times that he had only 20 votes in his favor and McCarthy had 203 votes.
But Boebert, who along with Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) left a meeting with McCarthy on Wednesday evening, went on to insist that nothing has changed the calculus, where other holdouts haven’t, it could be irresistible. Is. Punchbowl News and other outlets reported that talks are underway with Representative Chip Roy (R-TX), who has been a prominent leader in the anti-McCarthy group, and that McCarthy has agreed to a number of concessions. Among them, according to The Washington Post, is a rule change that would lower the threshold for binding a vote on the speaker’s removal. It would be just one instead of five members sponsoring such a motion to oust that person. So essentially McCarthy, if he is elected, would be speaker under threat of being shown the door at any moment.
Complicating things is that 20 dissenters don’t necessarily speak with one voice. Repeatedly on the Hill, some of the holdouts have told reporters that this is not a personal crusade against McCarthy, although figures such as Boebert have also turned around and made it clear that she would not vote for him.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who as a surrogate for McCarthy, surprisingly enough, tried to be the voice of reason against the holdouts, told reporters Wednesday, “This is part of the ‘never’ movement.” problem with,” she said. “Like there was ‘Never Trump’ that kept people from working together, and now we’re seeing it with ‘Never Kevin,’ and Matt Getz was very open about it.”
Meanwhile, a group of pro-McCarthy veterans held a press conference where they talked about the implications of a stalled Congress. This includes members’ inability to receive national security briefings because the committees have not yet been activated by the new House leadership.
Meanwhile, some Democrats were a little upset that two of their members, Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) and Rep. Adriano Espillat (D-NY) did not vote Wednesday evening on the motion to adjourn. Republicans won that vote 216–214, after moments in which each side scrambled to bring members to the clerk’s podium before the voting deadline. The adjournment gave McCarthy more breathing room to negotiate. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) said on Twitter that McCarthy won the vote because the two Democrats “inexplicably didn’t come to vote,” noting that Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) was also there, although he was leaving. Were through cancer treatment.
Huffman wrote, “It’s frustrating to say the least.”
Democrats are watching the long slog through a total of three roll call votes with some amusement. Some, such as former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have been seen reading magazines and books. Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) said he found the time productive, as he was able to talk to new members and other colleagues about legislative priorities.
“The problem is with them, and so they have to figure it out,” he said.
He said, “McCarthy has given everything, including his dignity, so I don’t know what’s left to give.”
There’s a noticeable change in the atmosphere at the Capitol as the GOP tries to introduce a new Congress: cigar smoke. The smell is noticeable on the third floor, apparently waiting from the offices of Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), set to become the new chairman of the Rules Committee. An air purifier has been installed in one of the House Press Galleries across the hall.