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Stalemate: McCarthy fails three rounds of voting for first time in a century

Published in Blog on January 03, 2023 by Brianna Kraemer

After three rounds of voting on the House floor Tuesday afternoon, Representative Kevin McCarthy failed to garner enough votes to lock in the leadership role as Speaker of the House. 

The bid for speaker remains at a stalemate. 

In the third round, 20 Republicans rejected McCarthy as speaker and backed Jim Jordan instead. An additional 202 votes went to McCarthy and 212 went to Democrat Hakeem Jeffries of New York. 

The last time a speaker vote required more than one round was in 1923 when it took nine rounds of voting to achieve a winner. In order to win, a candidate for the position must attain at least 50% of the vote. 

Convention of States endorser Chip Roy was one of the Republicans who strayed from the party and backed Jim Jordan for speaker. 

"The fact is, this place has to change... And the change comes by either adopting rules and procedures that will make us actually do our job, or it comes from leadership," Roy said on the House floor.

"We've made progress but we do not have the tools to stop the swamp from running over the average American every single day. We can't keep doing this. I'm going to sit here until we figure out how to stop spending money we don't have. I don't want any more empty promises." 

Following his speech, Roy announced his support of Rep. Jim Jordan. For the first two rounds, Jordan received 19 votes. However, by the third round, a Florida Congressman flipped his vote from McCarthy's side to Jim Jordan's side.

During the third vote, aggravated representatives cast their voice vote with extra comments and words of criticism.

What to do now? Capitol Hill is in a scramble. McCarthy may need to eventually step down and allow a different Republican to step up, or the voting will continue for possibly days to come. 

After 5:00 eastern time, the Congress agreed to adjourn for the night. 

Until a speaker is officially elected, the entire House of Representatives is not legally sworn into office.  

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