Kevin McCarthy Finally Wins House Speaker in the 15th Round


Gage Skidmore

Rep. Kevin McCarthy was named Speaker of the House early Saturday morning after 15 rounds of voting.

Hannah Shiflett, Reporter

For what seemed could go on for days and maybe even weeks. Rep. Kevin McCarthy wins House Speaker in a stunning turn of events.

A Speaker of the House has finally been elected in the United States of America. Beginning on Jan. 3 and lasting well into the early hours of Jan. 7. Considering that Republicans are the majority in the House, it was assumed that Rep. Kevin McCarthy would easily be elected as the Speaker of the House. He was not.

A group of 20 Republicans had consistently voted against Rep. McCarthy, even while the Representative of California made deals with them to get the vote. These 20 Republicans are all well-known for their strong ties to former U.S. President, Donald Trump.

While McCarthy received support from the former President based on a Tweet from Trump. Rep. Lauren Boebert stated on Wednesday that even though her “favorite president” asked for her and other Republicans to support McCarthy, she would not do so. Instead, she believed that Trump should tell McCarthy to withdraw.

United States Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (Gage Skidmore)

Republicans continued to remain divided and the Democrats remained firm on supporting their own candidate. Though this is not the first that a House Speaker election has gone on for multiple rounds or days.

From 1855 to 1856, Congress was seeking to elect their 34th House Speaker. During this time period, there was a heavy divide in the country, where there was Pro-Slavery vs Anti-Slavery. The Democratic Party had become the minority and the American also known as the “Know Nothing” Party, and the opposition made the majority who mostly opposed Slavery.

For three months, Congress was unable to elect House Speaker. Congress went through 133 rounds of voting until they agreed upon Massachusetts Rep. Nathaniel P. Banks. The reason why it took so long was due to the tensions of Slavery. Each party kept voting for members of their own until finally decided to unite against those who were Pro-Slavery which led to Nathaniel P. Banks winning.

Today, it can only be assumed that the reason for the 20 Republicans to be withholding their vote from McCarthy was due to his shifting loyalty to the Republican Party. However, with much discussion, Kevin McCarthy started seeing results from discussions with the 20 Republicans.

In the 14th Round of voting, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida suddenly voted Present. Regarding the election process in the House, voting present allows the winning threshold to be lowered. With Gaetz voting present, the threshold had been lowered to 217. Kevin McCarthy only had 216 of the votes, falling short of the threshold.

US Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida. (Gage Skidmore)

Following another failed round, Kevin McCarthy went to speak to Matt Gaetz. Exchanging words, sour expressions, finger-pointing, and a lot of stares. When McCarthy turned to leave, Alabama House Rep. Mike Rogers was restrained after yelling at Gaetz. This caught the attention of everyone in the House Chamber, believing that a physical fight was going to ensue.

Congress at the time was then beginning to vote on whether or not to adjourn until Monday afternoon. Democrats wanted to keep to process going while a majority of Republicans did not. However, as the final seconds were coming in, in a stunning move, Kevin McCarthy was then moving quickly from Matt Gaetz to the podium to change his vote from, YAE to NAY. Suddenly several Republicans were moving in to change their votes.

After having dismissed the idea of wanting to wait until Monday to vote. The 15th and final round of voting would begin.

In a shocking wave, all of the Republicans voted in Kevin McCarthy’s favor. Only six voting as present, allowing McCarthy to win with 216 votes.

Now that there is a House Speaker, all of the politicians who were elected in the 2022 mid-term can finally be sworn in. The House is no longer being stalled and luckily will have little ramifications for the rest of the government as a whole.

However, the only questions that remain are what did McCarthy promise, what finally got the last vote, and how will this affect the legislation for the next two years.