Kevin McCarthy clinches US House speakership in 15th ballot

TEHRAN, Jan. 07 (MNA) – Republican Kevin McCarthy has clinched the US House speakership after the 15th ballot was held on Friday.

Despite making numerous concessions to win over a bloc of far-right Republicans over the week, which narrowed his opposition from 20, a group of a half dozen holdouts either voted against McCarthy or voted “present,” denying him the majority he needed to win in the 14th vote, NBC reported.

McCarthy personally confronted GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Lauren Boebert of Colorado. Both dropped their opposition by voting present but it wasn’t enough to change the outcome.

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 number needed to win the speakership. He needs support from more than half of the lawmakers who cast their ballots. With 222 Republicans in the House, he can only afford to lose a handful of votes.

All 212 Democrats have unanimously backed House Minority Leader Hakeem Jefferies for each vote, except the 12th vote in which one member was out for minor surgery.

Now that McCarthy has been elected speaker, his first job will be to swear in the other 433 members of Congress, who have been trapped in limbo as members-elect since Tuesday, when the 118th Congress first opened.

While the vote is still open, McCarthy won more than half of the votes cast, giving him the gavel.


News Code 195815


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