WASHINGTON: Kevin McCarthy has emerged as the 55th Speaker of the US House of Representatives on Saturday after winning a historic battle that quelled a rebellion in the midnight hour, The Hill reported.
McCarthy, who now becomes second in line for the Presidency, clinched victory following the longest Speakership election in 160 years as the establishment Republicans took 15 rounds of voting over a span of four days to fend off a right-wing anti-McCarthy rebellion.
The 57-year-old McCarthy received 216 votes in the final vote, 212 votes went to House Minority leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and six present votes. He required 215 votes to win with the current vote totals. He will now succeed Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House of Representatives
Notably, a candidate needs to win a majority of members who vote for a specific person of the House to become the Speaker, which implies that a lawmaker requires 218 votes if no member skips the vote or votes “present.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who cast the final vote on the 14th ballot, brought McCarthy within one vote of becoming Speaker before a dramatic scene on the House floor. After the vote, the members gathered around Gaetz for a heated conversation.
Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) physically drew back Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), who had at one point approached the group in a furious manner, according to The Hill. Prior to Gaetz approaching McCarthy and requesting one more vote, Republicans were set to call the meeting to order until Monday.
Lawmakers voted five times on Thursday. However, Kevin McCarthy was unable to secure the majority of votes needed for being elected as the Speaker earlier.
The US House has adjourned without electing a new Speaker after Kevin McCarthy failed to win a majority of votes across 11 ballots over three days in his push to become House speaker, CNN reported. The final tally for the 11th round of voting was 212 for Representative Hakeem Jeffries, 200 for Representative Kevin McCarthy, 12 for Representative Byron Donald. As per the news report, McCarthy proposed more major concessions in his efforts to secure 218 votes.
In his Speakership bid, former President Donald Trump endorsed the GOP Leader and called the holdouts to lobby for McCarthy. Initially, McCarthy offered a five-member threshold, down from current conference rules that require half of the GOP to call for such a vote. He also agreed to allow for more members of the Freedom Caucus to serve on the House Rules Committee. (ANI)