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California Rep. Kevin McCarthy loses, gains as House speaker election drags on: ‘I voted present’

Two Republicans switched their vote away from Rep.-elect Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday and Wednesday.

McCarthy is facing serious headwinds in his bid to become House speaker, as he hasn’t gained a majority of votes in six rounds of voting.

Rep. -elect Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., voted for McCarthy previously, but voted “present” during the fourth, fifth, and sixth round of voting. 

In explaining her vote, Spartz said that no Republicans have the votes needed to become House speaker.

HOUSE SPEAKER VOTE DERBY THE ‘ANTI-GROUNDHOG DAY’ BECAUSE MCCARTHY’S PROSPECTS KEEP GETTING WORSE, CRITICS SAY

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrives at the Capitol as the House meets for a second day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“We have a constitutional duty to elect the Speaker of the House, but we have to deliberate further as a Republican conference until we have enough votes and stop wasting everyone’s time. None of the Republican candidates have this number yet. That’s why I voted present after all votes were cast,” Spartz said on Wednesday afternoon.  

On Wednesday evening, Spartz tweeted “Glad to see Kevin McCarthy having meetings with his opposition. We have to resolve it within our conference.”

LIVE BLOG: THE VOTE FOR HOUSE SPEAKER

Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., traveled to the Ukraine-Poland border the weekend of March 4, 2022, to see firsthand the humanitarian crisis created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., traveled to the Ukraine-Poland border the weekend of March 4, 2022, to see firsthand the humanitarian crisis created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 
(Courtesy of Rep. Victoria Spartz’s office)

“Stalemate is not an option,” she said.

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., flipped his vote on Tuesday and said that he wants “a resolution.

Donalds was later nominated for House speaker, and received 20 votes in the sixth round of voting. McCarthy received 201 votes, which is 17 votes shy of a majority.

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Representative Byron Donalds, a Republican from Florida, speaks during a panel discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, U.S., on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021.

Representative Byron Donalds, a Republican from Florida, speaks during a panel discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, U.S., on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021.
(Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The McCarthy-aligned super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, announced on Wednesday that it struck a deal with the Club for Growth in not backing some candidates in open-seat primaries that are safe.


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