House Heads To Longest Speaker Vote Series Since 1859

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Republican California Rep. Kevin McCarthy failed to ascend to the speakership on the ninth straight ballot, with a gang of 21 holdouts forcing the House of Representatives to a 10th speaker ballot for the first time since 1859.

McCarthy received 200 votes, leaving him 17 short of the 217 necessary for him to become Speaker of the House. Republican Florida Rep. Byron Donalds drew 17 votes, while Republican Oklahoma Rep. Kevin Hern garnered three. All 212 Democrats supported incoming House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York.

Donalds voted for himself, while Hern is supporting McCarthy. Republican Indiana Rep. Victoria Spartz voted “present” for the sixth straight ballot. Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, who previously voted for McCarthy, did not cast a ballot. He reportedly left the Capitol to attend a doctor’s appointment. (RELATED: House Rejects Kevin McCarthy For Seventh Straight Vote)

With the absence of Buck and the death of Democratic Virginia Rep. A Donald McEachin, only 433 members-elect are voting for the speaker. Buck had previously threatened to withdraw his support for McCarthy if the Californian continues to struggle in his negotiations with GOP opposition.

The 2023 speaker vote has now tied the 1833 ballot for the seventh longest in American history. The House adjourned on Tuesday and Wednesday after three votes on each day.

McCarthy and his team have negotiated with the GOP holdouts throughout the day, although some members have expressed frustration that their conversations have been made public.

“It doesn’t show good faith to leak the terms of any discussion,” Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry told reporters.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.