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House speaker vote: McCarthy thanks Trump for final votes as fight nearly breaks out on floor

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Namita Singh,Oliver O'Connell,Bevan Hurley
Sunday 08 January 2023 14:09 GMT
Trump phone-ins, near-fights and 15 votes: Key moments from a chaotic House Speaker election

Kevin McCarthy was finally elected speaker of the House of Representatives after 15 rounds of voting, clinching the gavel just after midnight on Saturday.

The longest contest for speaker of the House of Representatives in more than a century finally came to an end as six remaining Republican holdouts opted to vote “present”, giving Mr McCarthy a majority over Democrat Hakeem Jeffries.

Earlier, Republican House member Mike Rogers had to be physically restrained after lunging at Matt Gaetz amid chaotic scenes in the House.

Congressman Richard Hudson grabbed Mr Rogers by his face and physically pulled him away.

In his first speech as speaker, Mr McCarthy thanked former president Donald Trump for “helping get those final votes”.

Mr McCarthy’s bid had been delayed by a group of far-right Republicans including the likes of Lauren Boebert and Mr Gaetz.

However, on Friday he made significant progress in the 12th ballot, managing to flip a total of 14 representatives-elect in his favour after lengthy negotiations.


“The embarrassment indeed may be the point."

Brendan Buck argues in The New York Times that the goal of GOP rebels in the House may not be to unseat Kevin McCarthy as GOP leader and deny him the speakership.

The goal instead may be to publicly weaken him politically, maximising the power that conservatives and Trump acolytes will have in the House for the next two years.

Read more from this former Paul Ryan aide in the Times:

John Bowden2 January 2023 17:45

McCarthy promises Covid origins investigation

Kevin McCarthy tweeted last week that he would allow the GOP to pursue an investigation into the origins of Covid-19 once the GOP takes control of the House of Representatives.

Many members of his party have spread false information or even outright conspiracy theories about the virus in the three years since it arrived on US shores.

John Bowden2 January 2023 18:30

McCarthy moves into speaker’s suite

GOP leader Kevin McCarthy moved his things into the suite utilised by the Speaker of the House as he presumes that he will be elected to the position on Tuesday.

But he has yet to secure the necessary 218 votes to win the role — and a faction of conservatives are vowing to vote against him.

John Bowden2 January 2023 19:43

Don Bacon issues direct threat to anti-McCarthy rebels

Congressman Don Bacon has a message for the conservatives hoping to block Kevin McCarthy from the speakership role: Get in line, or suffer the consequences.

In a new op-ed in the Daily Caller, he warns that he and others will work with Democrats to elect an “agreeable” Republican if a faction of pro-Trump conservatives block Mr McCarthy from winning the speaker’s gavel.

John Bowden2 January 2023 20:15

Conservatives hope to gut House ethics office

Conservatives are pushing a rule change with the advent of the new Congress which would gut the House Ethics Committee just before it has the opportunity to investigate one of their own for apparently fictionalising his entire resume.

Norm Eisen, a former US diplomat and expert on both constitutional law and a co-founder of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), called it the “Santos protection package”, and suggested that Republicans were hoping to shield themselves from future ethics investigations by rendering the office harmless.

John Bowden2 January 2023 20:45

McCarthy: ‘I think we’ll have a good day tomorrow'

Kevin McCarthy projected optimism on Monday when asked by reporters if he had the 218 votes necessary to secure the House speakership role.

John Bowden2 January 2023 21:15

When is the House speaker vote?

Kevin McCarthy is set to face his greatest political test tomorrow.

The election of the House speaker takes place before the chamber has settled on the rules for the next Congress, the 118th. This means that the vote will occur without regular procedures in place.

Read more about this procedure — and the political history behind it — in The Independent:

When is Kevin McCarthy’s House Speaker vote?

No leader has lost the first ballot to become speaker in a century

John Bowden2 January 2023 21:45

Nine House Republicans pen scathing letter railing against Kevin McCarthy’s speaker bid

ICYMI: Nine House Republicans sent a letter criticising House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s bid to become House speaker despite his overtures.

Republican Representatives Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Chip Roy of Texas and seven others wrote that Mr McCarthy’s responses to their demands were “insufficient.”

Read more:

Nine House Republicans pen scathing letter railing against McCarthy’s speaker bid

Comes as McCarthy makes key concession to House conservatives

Graeme Massie2 January 2023 23:01

Former Paul Ryan aide trashes Kevin McCarthy’s bid for speaker

ICYMI: An op-ed in The New York Times from Brendan Buck, a veteran GOP operative on Capitol Hill who worked for ex-Speaker Paul Ryan, is making the rounds today.

Mr Buck and Mr Ryan’s wing of the GOP in general is thought to be disgusted with how Mr McCarthy has sought to placate conservatives and Trump acolytes as GOP minority leader; Mr Ryan publicly supported the second impeachment of Donald Trump.

Read more in the Times:

Graeme Massie3 January 2023 00:03

GOP sources: Don’t expect Kevin McCarthy to fight it out on the floor

ICYMI: Critics of GOP leader Kevin McCarthy are advising against the public spectacle that would inevitably follow a battle on the House floor for control of the speaker’s gavel as it becomes clearer and clearer that he has not yet secured the votes to lead the chamber come Tueday.

Robert Costa reported the state of the race in a Twitter thread Monday morning. The views of Mr McCarthy’s critics are important given that he will be attempting to win them over should voting go to a second round in tomorrow’s election for speaker.

Graeme Massie3 January 2023 01:03

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