House Adjourns until Friday after McCarthy Loses Eleventh Vote for Speaker

The House voted Thursday night to adjourn and reconvene on Friday at noon after GOP leader Kevin McCarthy failed in an eleventh attempt for the speakership.

The voting on Thursday marked the first time in 164 years that a speakership vote has taken more than nine rounds. The House voted five times on Thursday alone.

Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida nominated former president Donald Trump during the eleventh round after also voting for the former president on the seventh and eighth ballots. Seven defectors voted for Representative Kevin Hern of Oklahoma during the eleventh round of voting. Hern, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, has supported McCarthy throughout the speaker election process, though he has reportedly not ruled out his own bid for the post.

Representative Byron Donalds of Florida was the leading political figure GOP opposition forces backed in several rounds of voting on Thursday. He received 12 votes in the eleventh round.

Donalds was elected to the House in 2020 and is a Trump supporter who backs claims of widespread election fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

“Byron Donalds is a good man raised by a single mom who moved past adversity, became a Christian man at the age of 21 and has devoted his life to advancing the cause for his family and his country,” Representative Chip Roy of Texas told the House.

McCarthy’s detractors, a group of Freedom Caucus-affiliated members, have remained unswayed by McCarthy’s latest concessions and fellow party members have begun expressing skepticism over his latest attempts to win over votes.

“There were a lot of tensions in the years before I got here that a lot of members haven’t forgotten about,” Brian Fitzpatrick, a Republican representative from Pennsylvania and a McCarthy ally, told the House ahead of Thursday’s vote.

Prior to the vote, McCarthy told reporters, “We’re just going to keep working until we solve it…What we’re doing is we’re having really good progress and conversation. I think everybody in the conversation wants to find a solution.”

Roy, a McCarthy opponent, expressed interest in continuing the negotiations earlier today.

“These are momentous conversations we’re having. They’re serious and consequential and we’re not going to negotiate this in the press…We’re going to get behind closed doors and go work for the American people,” Roy told Emily Cochrane of the New York Times before the vote

With McCarthy failing to secure the necessary majority, the California Republican enters a unique space in American history.

Since 1789 when the House first elected Pennsylvania’s Frederick Muhlenberg as speaker, the speaker election process has entered multiple ballots only 14 times. McCarthy’s latest struggles represents the first time since 1923 that a speaker has failed to be appointed after a single vote.

More from National Review