Kevin McCarthy lost a fourth speaker ballot Wednesday after GOP leadership considered filing a motion to adjourn.
The House initially adjourned Tuesday night until noon on Wednesday, following three unsuccessful speaker ballots. McCarthy was 16 votes short on the third ballot, as 20 fellow Republicans supported Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan. After a night of negotiations, Republicans considered adjourning the House again, but did not move to do so after Democrats whipped against the move.
After voting for Jordan on Tuesday, anti-McCarthy conservatives coalesced behind Florida Republican Rep. Byron Donalds. Donalds received 20 votes, with all of his supporters previously voting for Jordan on the third ballot. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Byron Donalds Outlines Plan To Transform Republican Messaging)
Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries again received all 212 Democratic votes, while McCarthy garnered 201. Republican Indiana Rep. Victoria Spartz, who previously supported McCarthy, voted “present.”
“There’s 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,” Texas Rep. Chip Roy said in a floor speech nominating Donalds. “We’re not at the place where we need to be to guarantee that we stand up to the swamp that steps over the American people on a daily basis.”
Donalds mounted an insurgent campaign against New York Rep. Elise Stefanik for Republican conference chair. He received 74 votes at the November conference meeting.
Byron Donalds to reporters tonight:
“We knew Kevin was short. It’s been like two months. Bro, you got to close the deal. You had two months. And so, at this point now, if you can’t close it, we gotta find who can.”
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) January 3, 2023
McCarthy’s supporters maintain that he is the only Republican who can get the necessary votes to ascend to the speakership.
“I am a retired Navy SEAL enlisted guy. I’ll let you in on a few universal truths. Rocks are heavy. Trees are made of wood. Gravity is real. No other Republican can pull 218,” incoming Wisconsin Rep. Derrick Van Orden told the Daily Caller.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.