The House speakership remained out of reach for California Rep. Kevin McCarthy Tuesday, as 19 Republicans voted against him on the first and second ballots, and 20 voted against him on a third ballot, with more rounds of voting expected Wednesday.
The members of McCarthy’s own party to defect included Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Matt Gaetz of Florida and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania. Perry, who heads the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus, has said McCarthy has refused to commit to holding votes on issues like a balanced budget and congressional term limits.
To become speaker, a candidate needs a majority of votes of those present. In the first two rounds of voting, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York — the Democrats’ chosen leader after Nancy Pelosi stepped aside — won a plurality of votes as his party rallied behind him.
Here are the 19 Republicans who voted against McCarthy in the first two rounds, rounded up in a tweet by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. In the second vote, all 19 voted for Rep. Jim Jordan, an archconservative from Ohio.
Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., became the 20th to support Jordan in the day’s third ballot, after flipping his vote. In a Twitter post, he explained: “The reality is Rep. Kevin McCarthy doesn’t have the votes. I committed my support to him publicly and for two votes on the House Floor. 218 is the number, and currently, no one is there. … When the dust settles, we will have a Republican Speaker, now is the time for our conference to debate and come to a consensus.:
Now read: McCarthy’s speaker bid in trouble — and could signal House dysfunction in 2023