BREAKING: 19 GOP vote against Kevin McCarthy in first round of House Speaker vote

The GOP holds 222 members in Congress, and McCarthy needed 218 votes to secure the position of House Speaker. 19 members of the GOP cast their votes for other members of their party.

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
The 118th Congress commenced on Tuesday with a vote for House Speaker. The contentious race saw a fracturing among the GOP, with Republicans casting votes for Kevin McCarthy, Andy Biggs, Jim Jordan, and Jim Banks. 

As the vote tally neared completion, it became clear that neither the McCarthy nor the Democrats' pick from New York Hakeem Jeffries had the votes, and the vote for Speaker would go to a second round.

The GOP holds 222 members in Congress, and McCarthy needed 218 votes to secure the position of House Speaker. He did not get them, but Democrat challenger Hakeem Jeffries didn't get the votes either.

Lauren Boebert of California voted for Ohio's Jim Jordan, who had not been nominated, as did Michael McCloud of Texas, Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, and others. Another in the GOP voted for Jim Banks. Andy Biggs took 10 votes from McCarthy. 

Those 19 members of the GOP who voted against McCarthy are Biggs, Bishop, Boebert, Brecheen, Cloud, Clyde, Crane, Gaetz, Good, Gosar, Harris, Paulina Luna, Miller, Norman, Ogles, Perry, Rosendale, Roy, and Self.

Elise Stefanik of New York offered the first nomination for McCarthy. She slammed Biden's far-left agenda for the country, and said that the new GOP majority will be "accountable to the people." She listed McCarthy's accomplishments, including that which he accomplished during his previous speakership.

Hakeem Jeffries of New York was also nominated for House Speaker. Jeffries, who would otherwise serve as minority leader, is a far-left representative from Brooklyn who has the full support of the House Democrats. While Democrats do not hold a majority in the House, the squabbles among the GOP left an opening for Democrats.

Rep. Pete Aguilar noted repeatedly that Democrats "are united" behind Jeffries, in stark contrast to the GOP. And as usual, the Democrats took aim at Trump, calling him the "so-called" former President.

Paul Gosar from Arizona stood up to offer a third nomination, Andy Biggs. He did not give a lengthy speech, and the applause for that name was sparse.

Prior to that vote on the House floor, some GOP members of Congress had been vocal in their opposition to McCarthy, who moved his office into the speaker's suite in advance of the vote.

Those opposed included Arizona's Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar and Eli Crane, Florida's Matt Gaetz and Anna Paulina Luna, Matt Rosendale of Montana, Andrew Clyde of Georgia, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Brandon Ogles of Tennessee, Chip Roy of Texas, Bob Good of Virginia, and Andy Harris of Maryland. 

Not everyone in the MAGA wing was in opposition to McCarthy, however, notably former President Donald Trump and Georgia's Marjorie Taylor Greene. Greene spoke out in advance of the vote to slam those members of the Freedom Caucus who tried to use their opposition to McCarthy to curry his favor in exchange for a yes vote on the floor.

"In that conference meeting," Greene said, "we found out that there were several members, three in fact, that went in last night and were demanding positions for themselves, demanding gavel positions, demanding subcommittees, demanding for people to be taken off committees and people to be put on committees."

"I find out that it's my Freedom Caucus colleagues and my supposed friends that went and did that," she said, noting that she has absolutely no committees as they were stripped from her by Democrat House leadership after January 6, 2021. "They asked nothing for me," she said, irate at their petulance, "Nothing. That's what I found out in there. I'm furious.

"Let me tell you something," she continued, "while the conservatives that the base supports and believes in— let me let me remind everyone: they're not perfect either." Greene listed the many ways that those who oppose McCarthy are in fact beholden to him, including Pennsylvania's Scott Perry, who leads the Freedom Caucus in confronting McCarthy's run for Speaker.

"Kevin McCarthy had an opportunity to be Speaker of the House," Perry said. "He rejected it."


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