Kevin McCarthy Fails to Secure House Speakership in Three Rounds of Voting

In three rounds of voting on Tuesday, House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) failed to garner the 218 votes needed to secure the House speakership. House Democrats quickly united behind 2016 election denier Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) as leader of the Democrat minority, but McCarthy, who some GOP members see as a creature of “the swamp,” was unable to seal the deal.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), one of 20 congressmen opposing McCarthy’s reelection to the speakership, explained to Fox News why he was digging in to oppose the California Republican.

McCarthy, he said, “has a history of voting with Democrats and voting with the minority against the majority Republicans across the past decade.” Roy added that McCarthy has been in a GOP leadership position since 2009, and “during that time, the debt has gone from $11 trillion to $32 trillion.” The Texas congressman said he and his compatriots want to elect a leader who will be “a check against the swamp.”

He also revealed that Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) threatened to pull the holdouts from committee assignments if they continued to “challenge the coronation of the speaker.”

“The reality is, that was a threat, and it was not received well by a lot of people in the room,” Roy added. “Mike Rogers is emblematic of the problem. He is precisely why we end up with bills like the $1.7 trillion monstrosity that was destroying our freedom, funding bureaucrats, and actually having specific language in it not securing the border!” the congressman exclaimed.

The House can’t kick off the new Congress or swear in new members until a speaker is elected.

The Speaker vote went to a second ballot for the first time in 100 years after 19 Republicans voted against McCarthy: Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Dan Bishop N.C.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Josh Brecheen (Okla.), Michael Cloud (Texas), Andrew Clyde (Ga.), Brent Crane (Idaho), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Bob Good (Va.), Paul Gosar (Az.), Andy Harris (Maryland), Paulina Luna (Fla.), Mary Miller (Ill.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Brandon Ogles (Tenn.), Scott Perry (Calif.), Matt Rosendale (Mont.), and Chip Roy (Texas).

Rep. Jim Jordan was nominated by Republicans for the second and third-round votes, even after he nominated McCarthy in an effort to show party unity.

Jordan argued that the differences among GOP lawmakers “pale in comparison” to the differences between Republicans and Democrats.

“We need to rally around him,” Jordan said of McCarthy. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.) also rallied behind McCarthy, saying the 19 naysayers were playing “Russian roulette” with the GOP’s “hard-earned” majority.

Rep. Matt Gaetz nominated Jordan in the second round where he earned 19 votes, and Rep. Chip Roy nominated Jordan for speaker in the third round.

Roy explained why he was doing it in an impassioned speech on the House floor.

“I want the tools or I want the leadership to stop the swamp from running over the average American every single day!” he exclaimed. “I don’t want any more empty promises.”

In the third round, one more Republican lawmaker, Byron Donalds of Florida joined the fray, bringing the anti-McCarthy contingent to 20.

The House adjourned until noon Wednesday after the third round of votes failed to elect a speaker.

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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: US Republican Representative from California Kevin McCarthy speaks with lawmakers as the US House of Representatives convenes for the 118th Congress at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 3, 2023. - The new US Congress was thrown into chaos on its very first day as rebel right-wing Republicans moved to block party favorite Kevin McCarthy from becoming speaker of the House of Representatives. (Photo by Mandel NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)