GOP congresswoman defects from Kevin McCarthy after fourth vote fails to deliver House speakership
House GOP Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) appears to have lost his fourth attempt to become Speaker, as one Republican congresswoman defected by voting “present.” 21 Republicans voted against McCarthy after a night of heavy lobbying and even Donald Trump urging conservatives to install McCarthy.
U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN) was the House Republican to pull away from McCarthy. The 20 Republicans who voted against McCarthy on Tuesday all again voted against him on Wednesday.
After Sparkz’s vote as “present” was counted, some Republicans applauded.
House Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries again received more votes than McCarthy, 212. McCarthy dropped one to 201. 20 Republicans voted for far-right Republican of Florida Byron Donalds for Speaker.
The House is now beginning a fifth vote. McCarthy allies had been expected to begin the day calling for the House to adjourn, giving the embattled Leader another day to try to whip enough votes to grab the gavel, but Democrats made clear they would not support the move.
McCarthy losing another vote despite Trump urging all Republicans to support him is also being seen as a loss for the ex-president.
McCarthy “didn’t just get no new votes with Trump’s support, he actually lost a vote from his 202 total yesterday. Trump is as impotent as McCarthy,” said Moe Davis, a former Chief Prosecutor of the Guantanamo military commissions, and a Democrat who lost his bid to win a House seat in 2020.
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