Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Wednesday failed to garner the 218 votes needed to secure the House speakership three more times, bringing the total number of failed attempts to six.
In the sixth round of voting, 20 stalwart Republican lawmakers voted for Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida instead of McCarthy, and one—Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana—voted present.
The House then voted to adjourn until 8:00 ET Wednesday evening.
Republicans were reportedly planning to appoint four members from each side to negotiate a path forward on choosing the House speaker.
Earlier Wednesday, former president Donald Trump urged Republicans to unite around McCarthy.
“Some really good conversations took place last night, and it’s now time for all of our GREAT Republican House Members to VOTE FOR KEVIN, CLOSE THE DEAL, TAKE THE VICTORY, & WATCH CRAZY NANCY PELOSI FLY BACK HOME TO A VERY BROKEN CALIFORNIA, THE ONLY SPEAKER IN U.S. HISTORY TO HAVE LOST THE “HOUSE” TWICE! REPUBLICANS, DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT. IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT.” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform. “Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB – JUST WATCH!” he added.
In a subsequent post, Trump apologetically noted that he had also once urged Republicans to vote for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: “If Republicans are going to fight, we ought to be fighting Mitch McConnell and his domineering, China loving BOSS, I mean wife, Coco Chow. The harm they have done to the Republican Party is incalculable. Today, he couldn’t be elected “Dog Catcher” in Kentucky (Sadly, he only won because of my Endorsement, went up 21 points – SORRY!)” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
In a speech on the House floor, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) revealed that her “favorite president” Trump had called the holdouts and told them to “knock this off” and vote for McCarthy.
“I think it actually needs to be reversed. The president needs to Kevin McCarthy that ‘sir, you do not have the votes and it’s time to withdraw,'” she said, prompting a barrage of boos in the chamber.
Boebert says that Trump called them and told them to "knock this off" and vote for McCarthy.
She then says that Trump should tell McCarthy to withdraw. pic.twitter.com/s7wVyh3pTY
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 4, 2023
Rep. Kat Cammack of Florida, who nominated McCarthy for the sixth round of voting, urged Republicans to stand together, while noting that “diversity of thought is a good thing.”
“But they want us divided, they want us to fight each other,” she said, adding, “that much has been made clear by the popcorn, and blankets and alcohol that is coming out over there.” That comment drew laughter from the Republican side, and jeers from the Democrat side.
The Democrats got PISSED when Rep. Kat Cammack accused them of drinking during the Speaker votes lmfao. pic.twitter.com/nqbZnRy32F
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 4, 2023
The twenty anti-McCarthy Republicans are: Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Dan Bishop N.C.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Josh Brecheen (Okla.), Michael Cloud (Texas), Andrew Clyde (Ga.), Byron Donalds (Fla.), 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.), Rep. Keith Self (Penn.) and Chip Roy (Texas).
The House cannot move forward with business until a speaker is elected, and that is seen by many as a positive thing.
Rep. Gaetz told reporters late Wednesday afternoon that he is dug in and willing to stay up and vote “all night, all week, all month and never for that person.”
Gaetz also argued that McCarthy is unproperly “squatting” in the speaker’s office.
“Why is he even allowed to be there?” Gaetz asked.
.@RepMattGaetz After Meeting With McCarthy
“He’s a desperate guy whose vote share is dropping w/ every subsequent vote & I’m ready to vote all night, all week, all month & never for that person.”
Also asks why Kevin is still squatting in Speaker’s office.pic.twitter.com/xlDbcNNLAC
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) January 4, 2023
Fox News Host Tucker Carlson blasted neocon Rep. Dan Crenshaw Wednesday night for calling the 20 holdouts “terrorists” who deserve to be punished.
Tucker on Dan Crenshaw's "terrorists" comment: "Over the past few years pretty much every part of the war on terror has been turned against the domestic political enemies of the neocons. What you just saw is the snarling face of the donor class." pic.twitter.com/Ygd5ptmjcD
— American Firebrand (@AmFirebrand) January 5, 2023
Crenshaw responded to Carlson later Wednesday night on Twitter.
“Unclutch your pearls,” he tweeted. It’s a figure of speech. You can’t insult, slander, and hold everyone hostage with no way out – and not expect me to punch back. Grow thicker skin.”