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The U.S. House of Representatives entered its fourth day of voting to elect a new speaker on Friday, falling on the grim two-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
The U.S. House adjourned Thursday for a third night in a row without a speaker — the longest the chamber has gone leaderless in a century — after GOP leader Kevin McCarthy lost an 11th vote and scrambled to work out a deal with a group of 20 far-right Republicans who have blocked his bid for the top job in the House.
McCarthy still didn’t have a clear path to win as of Friday morning.
GOP leaders have scheduled a 10:15 a.m. ET conference call with rank-and-file members to brief them on the deal McCarthy’s been negotiating behind the scenes, according to NBC News. It would give some of the party’s most conservative members more power on key committees and him the gavel. The House is scheduled to reconvene at noon.
Support for McCarthy dwindled over the first three days of voting from 203 votes on Tuesday to 200 by the 11th vote on Thursday, falling far short of the 218 he needs to win the speakership. With 222 Republicans in the House, he can only afford to lose four votes.
Ahead of Thursday’s final vote, the bloc of 20 Republican holdouts opposing McCarthy’s speakership offered alternative candidates to McCarthy: Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla.. received 12 votes; Kevin Hern, R-Okla., received seven votes; and former President Donald Trump, who was put forward by his longtime ally, Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, received one vote from Gaetz.
All 212 Democrats have unanimously backed House Minority Leader Hakeem Jefferies for each vote.
2 HOURS AGO
Democratic Rep. David Trone returns from surgery to cast House speaker vote, raising the bar for McCarthy
After missing the first House speaker vote of the day to undergo hand surgery, Maryland Democratic Rep. David Trone raced back to the Capitol in time to cast a ballot in the 13th House speaker vote of the week.
Trone’s speedy return was bad news for McCarthy, because it raised the total number of votes being cast for speaker, and along with it, the total number McCarthy needs to win a majority and the speaker’s gavel.
While Trone was absent, there were only 431 members voting, meaning McCarthy could have clinched the speakership with 216. Now that Trone has returned, McCarthy will need 217.