Kevin McCarthy Falls One Vote Short On 14th Ballot

Screenshot via C-SPAN

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
Font Size:

Republican California Rep. Kevin McCarthy fell one vote short of ascending to the speakership in a Friday night tally.

On the 14th ballot, McCarthy received 216 votes, while incoming House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York garnered all 212 Democratic votes. Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs and Virginia Rep. Bob Good voted for Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, while Arizona Rep. Eli Crane and Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale voted for Biggs. Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz voted “present.”

Gaetz was the last member to vote, having skipped his initial turn. After it became apparent that McCarthy would not reach the necessary 217 votes, the Californian and his supporters attempted to pressure Gaetz and Boebert into switching their votes. At one point, incoming National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Richard Hudson of North Carolina had to pull incoming House Armed Services Committee chairman Mike Rogers of Alabama away from the two holdouts.

After failing to secure more than 203 votes on any of the first 11 ballots, negotiations between McCarthy supporter Patrick McHenry of North Carolina and holdouts led by Chip Roy of Texas secured rules concessions. McHenry nominated McCarthy on the 14th ballot. (RELATED: Here’s Why 15 Republicans Flipped Their Support To Kevin McCarthy)

McCarthy’s team and several of the holdouts reportedly agreed that leadership would place members of the Freedom Caucus on the House Rules Committee. They also agreed to several rules intended to limit federal spending, and a motion to vacate the chair that only requires one member.

The 2023 speaker vote is now the fifth-longest in American history. A motion to adjourn until Monday failed.