Republican California Rep. Kevin McCarthy told reporters Friday that he was confident he would get the votes for House speaker after failing in his bid for the position 12 times.
Fourteen Republicans, including North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop, Texas Rep. Michael Cloud and Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, flipped their votes in the 12th round Friday afternoon, but the upset still wasn’t enough to secure McCarthy the speakership. (RELATED: Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale Dramatically Trolls McCarthy On Floor During Vote)
“I think you saw we made some very good progress, we’ll come back tonight and I believe at that time we’ll have the votes to finish this once and for all,” McCarthy told reporters after the House adjourned Friday afternoon. “It just reminds me of what my father always told me, ‘It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.’ Now we have to finish for the American public.”
.@GOPLeader Kevin McCarthy: “We made some very good progress. We’ll come back tonight. I believe at that time we’ll have the votes to finish this once and for all.” #118thCongress pic.twitter.com/0AmJvkgKO6
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 6, 2023
“I think getting together and just finding the ability to [ask] ‘How are we all gonna work together?’ It’s new for us, one, being in the majority, but being in a tight majority,” he continued. “I think at the end of the day, we’re gonna be more effective, more efficient, and that definitely the government is going to be more accountable.”
Congress began Friday with the 10th round of voting for the first time since 1859.
A number of prominent conservatives who oppose McCarthy have argued they need “leaders in Washington who would fight for them against the establishment.”
Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry, who has since flipped to cast his vote for McCarthy, initially said he opposed McCarthy’s bid because he allegedly hasn’t done enough to fix Washington while serving in other leadership positions.
“Every single American agrees – even the guy [who] wants to be speaker agrees – that Washington is broken,” Perry told reporters Tuesday. “Interestingly enough, over the 14 years that [McCarthy’s] been in leadership, he’s done almost virtually nothing to change it.”