Kevin McCarthy elected US House Speaker on 15th ballot
Sunday, January 8, 2023
In a historic vote past midnight yesterday, California Representative Kevin McCarthy was elected the 55th Speaker of the US House of Representatives on the fifteenth ballot, after making major concessions to end four days of Republican deadlock.
Addressing the House for the first time as Speaker, McCarthy promised "debates will be passionate. They will never be personal" and said: "Now the hard work begins".
On Tuesday, the first day of the 118th session, the House adjourned for the first time since 1923 without electing a speaker. Despite leading the Republicans, who won a slim majority in the midterm elections, about twenty conservatives steadfastly opposed McCarthy's leadership.
To clear the impasse, McCarthy steadily caved on major fronts, including reducing the number of representatives needed to force a 'motion to vacate', or, down to one.
Ultimately, fourteen holdout Republicans either switched their votes for McCarthy or voted 'present' to abstain on the twelfth ballot, and another,, on the thirteenth.
A chaotic scene took place after McCarthy lost on the fourteenth ballot on one vote, despite initially predicting victory, during which his ally Alabama had to be pulled away from confronting Florida's . The near-altercation, on January 6, was exactly two years after the .of
Finally, on the fifteenth ballot, Gaetz changed his vote to 'present': ultimately, 216 Republicans voted for McCarthy, six 'present', and all 212 Democrats for their House leader .
Upon the vote, Republicans promptly burst into shouts of "USA! USA," while McCarthy took the oath of office.
Jeffries spoke briefly before handing the gavel to McCarthy: "Freedom over fascism. Governing over. Hopefulness over hatred. Inclusion over isolation. Justice over judicial overreach. Knowledge over . Liberty over limitation, maturity over ."
Finally, McCarthy ascended to the
- Anthony Adragna, Nicholas Wu, Meredith Lee Hill, Marianne LeVine. "McCarthy claims speakership on 15th ballot" — , January 7, 2023
- Lisa Mascaro, Farnoush Amiri. "McCarthy elected House speaker in rowdy post-midnight vote" — , January 7, 2023