FINALLY: A House Speaker Is Chosen On The 15th Vote — Here’s The 411

Written by Wes Walker on January 7, 2023


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After 14 votes in which no House Representative had been chosen… how did we finally break the deadlock on vote #15?

As we know, there were somewhere around 20 holdout Republicans who were not supporting McCarthy as leader-designate. Then, after some overnight negotiations, Friday’s first vote sees a wave of a dozen or more switch their support backing to Kevin McCarthy.

But they still came up shy of enough votes to determine a winner. The votes kept coming. By the 14th vote, a few of the Never Kevin crowd switched their votes to ‘present’. That wasn’t a vote of support for McCarthy, but it still changed the outcome.

By voting ‘present’ instead of for some other candidate, it lowered the threshold for how many votes it would take to win the nomination.

By the 14th vote, he was only one vote away from winning. They immediately took up another vote, late into the night. The votes weren’t counted until after midnight, but when they were, six of the holdouts voted present. Everyone else voted for either McCarthy or Jeffries.

When the dust had settled, just after midnight Friday night, local time, the clerk finally announced the new leader of the Congress would be Kevin McCarthy.

Jeffries rose as the new minority leader, gave a very flowery and enthusiastic speech in which he kissed Pelosi’s ass, pounded his chest, and took some swipes at the Republicans. Near the end it almost took the tone of a rap battle.

By contrast, the new leader of the Republican House gave this speech, followed by chants of U-S-A.

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