House Rejects Kevin McCarthy For Seventh Straight Vote

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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The House of Representatives failed to elect a speaker on Thursday’s seventh ballot, as opponents to Republican California Rep. Kevin McCarthy stood firm.

McCarthy’s opponents rallied around Republican Florida Rep. Byron Donalds for the second straight day, after supporting Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan on the first day of voting. Donalds garnered 20 votes, keeping McCarthy below the 218 vote threshold. All 212 Democrats supported incoming House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, and 201 Republicans supported McCarthy.

Indiana Rep. Victoria Spartz voted present for the second straight day, while Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz voted for former President Donald Trump. (RELATED: With Speaker Vote In Chaos, Former Rep. Justin Amash Offers To Step In)

Republican North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop, who nominated Donalds, called out a Wednesday tweet from Democratic Missouri Rep. Cori Bush. Bush claimed Donalds “is a prop” who supports “policy agenda intent on upholding and perpetuating white supremacy.”

“This is the tired, old, grotesquely racist rhetoric we’ve seen for far too long,” Bishop said. “I know Byron. He’s not a prop, he’s a man of personal conviction.”

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 12: Rep.-elect Byron Donalds (R-FL) arrives to the Hyatt Regency hotel on Capitol Hill on November 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

A long night of meetings with his conservative opponents included a breakthrough on several rules changes and promises on votes, including a term limits constitutional amendment. McCarthy also agreed to place Freedom Caucus members or their allies on the Rules Committee, and to lower the motion to vacate the speaker chair threshold to one member.

McCarthy downplayed his own concern about Thursday’s votes, telling reporters, “I’m getting there.”

I think what you’ll see today is the same until we finish everything,” he added.

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