Rep. Byron Donalds Says ‘Very Little’ Ground Made Among GOP In Speaker Contest

[Screenshot CNN]

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
Font Size:

Florida Republican Rep. Byron Donalds said Wednesday on CNN that Republicans made “very little” ground in negotiations as California Rep. Kevin McCarthy vies for the Speakership role.

The House adjourned late Tuesday despite having no Speaker after three ballots failed to give any candidate a majority. Donalds, who initially voted for McCarthy, later changed his vote to Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who endorsed McCarthy prior to the second vote.

“Was any ground made last night in the negotiations that happened after you adjourned?” CNN’s Kaitlan Collins asked.

“Very little,” Donalds said. “But I think what you’re going to see this morning or maybe what you won’t see this morning is more conversations around that and we’ll see how we get there.”

Donalds refused to say whether McCarthy should pull himself out of the running, only adding that Republicans need to have “serious conversations.”

“There were conversations last night by some members, conversations today to see if a pathway still exists,” Donalds said. “For far too long in this town too many things have been by acclamation and that’s not worked for the American people. So we need to fight for budgetary restraints, reforms, securing our boarder, all the things the American people want to see but the root of that starts in how you set up leadership and rules in the House and having a deliberative process over that is actually a good thing for the republic.

Donalds also did not say whether he would vote for McCarthy during the fourth, and possibly future, votes. (RELATED: ‘VOTE FOR KEVIN’: Trump Doubles Down On McCarthy’s Speaker Bid)

“Do you think [McCarthy] has a strategy right now?” Collins asked.

“Not clear about that at this time,” Donalds said.

McCarthy needs 218 votes to win the position, leaving him little room to lose votes as Republicans hold a slight majority with 222 members. All 212 Democrats voted for New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.

During the first ballot, 10 Republicans voted for Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs while nine others voted for non-nominated candidates, forcing McCarthy to flip 15 members. The vote went to a second ballot in which McCarthy received 203 Republican votes, with the remaining 19 Republicans voting for Jordan.