Watch: Kevin McCarthy vows to press on after losing eleventh speakership vote in longest fight since 1859
Three days into the 118th Congress, the United States House of Representatives lacks a speaker because a faction of right-wing Republican lawmakers refuses to back Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) in his bid to assume the gavel wielded by Nancy Pelosi, his Democratic predecessor and fellow Californian.
Since Tuesday, January 3rd, eleven rounds of roll-call votes have not delivered the 218 ayes that McCarthy needs. Pundits across the partisan continuum have opined throughout the spectacle that the piling up of repeated rejections at the proverbial one-yard-line would break many people's spirits or even thwart their future careers in elected politics.
McCarthy's fight for the speakership is the lengthiest since 1859, and the ever-growing list of concessions that he negotiated with defiant members of the House Freedom Caucus in exchange for their supporthas not been enough to elevate him into the most powerful position in the lower congressional chamber.
But McCarthy remains optimistic, telling a gaggle of reporters on Thursday evening that only the thing that matters is how this ends.
"So it's not one size don't get more than other. It's the entire conference is going to have to learn how to work together. So it's better that we go through this process right now so we can achieve the things we want to achieve for the American public – what our commitment was," McCarthy said, referring to the GOP winning a slim House majority in the November midterms.
"So if this takes a little longer, if it doesn't meet your deadline, that's okay," he added, "because it's not how you start, it's how you finish."
Watch below or at this link.
\u201cKevin McCarthy, who has now lost 11 rounds of votes to become speaker of the House, says: \u201cIt\u2019s not how you start, it\u2019s how you finish.\u201d\u201d— Kate Sullivan (@Kate Sullivan) 1672968254
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