House Fails to Elect New Speaker of the House for Second Day

Amanda Casanova | Contributor | Thursday, January 5, 2023
House Fails to Elect New Speaker of the House for Second Day

House Fails to Elect New Speaker of the House for Second Day

The House of Representatives failed to elect a House speaker for the second day and adjourned without a decision.

The House is expected to reconvene today, and Rep. Kevin McCarthy hopes to be selected as the Speaker of the House. He needs 218 votes to secure the speaker position. Republicans hold 222 seats in Congress.

In the latest votes, McCarthy – who had met with detractors for around three hours to talk through a possible vote in his favor – fell short on three ballots.

"I think it's probably best that people work through some more," he said. "I don't think a vote tonight does any difference, but I think a vote in the future will."

According to CBS News, on Wednesday, Texas Rep. Chip Roy – a member of a GOP breakaway faction and one of the conservatives who had voted against McCarthy – nominated Republican Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida for the position.

Donalds had initially voted for McCarthy but switched his vote on the third ballot on Tuesday to Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan. Jordan, however, said he was not interested in serving as the house speaker, leading the party to nominate Donalds.

Roy called Donalds a "solid conservative" and highlighted his work as a businessman and Florida state legislator.

Meanwhile, Democrats are standing behind Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. He netted 212 Democratic votes on all six ballots.

Both men are black, making this the first time both parties nominated a person of color for the position.

"Here we are, and for the first time in history, there have been two Black Americans placed into the nomination for speaker of the House," Roy said, adding, "There is an important reason for nominating Byron, and that is this country needs a change. This country needs leadership that does not reflect this city, this town that is badly broken."

Former President Donald Trump posted on Truth Social Wednesday about the votes, saying that "it's now time for all of our GREAT Republican House Members to VOTE FOR KEVIN, CLOSE THE DEAL."

In the first and second ballots, McCarthy earned 203 votes each time. In the third round, he fell to 202; in the fourth ballot, he dropped again; in the fifth and sixth tallies, he fell to 201.

This is the first time in about 100 years the House has taken more than one vote to elect a new speaker. In 1855, the House took four months to select a new speaker.

According to the law, the House cannot conduct any business until a speaker is elected to the post.

The House is set to reconvene at noon on Thursday.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Narrarorro

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

House Fails to Elect New Speaker of the House for Second Day