US: Kevin McCarthy Loses Third-Round House Speaker Vote

    Photo: Getty Images [via The Wall Street Journal]

    The Facts

    • With a 218-vote majority needed to secure the position, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Tuesday lost three rounds of votes to become Speaker of the House after a small group of Republicans voted against him. Voting has been adjourned until noon local time Wednesday.

    • McCarthy received 203 GOP votes in favor to 19 against in the first and second rounds, and 202 in favor and 20 against in the third round. As the GOP only holds a slight majority in the House and every Democrat voted for Rep. Hakeem Jefferies (D-NY), McCarthy could only afford to receive four Republican "no" votes.

    The Spin

    Republican narrative

    After coming up embarrassingly short in the midterms, the fringe hard-right wing of the GOP is giving Democrats even more to celebrate. Whether he's the perfect candidate or not, Kevin McCarthy wasn't at fault for the Trump-endorsed midterm losers, and he's the only one that can realistically lead the party into the next Congress. Until these fringe detractors finally give up, the party won't be able to conduct any of the business they've been talking about for the past several months.

    Conservative narrative

    Just like Mitch McConnell in the upper chamber, Kevin McCarthy may have "Republican" next to his name, but he's only really on team Washington elite. A man like Jim Jordan, however, has proven to put the American people, and true Republicans more specifically, first. The GOP base has changed for the better and is showing its distaste for establishment players like McCarthy.

    Democratic narrative

    What's supposed to be a routine and celebratory procedure has quickly turned into division, animosity, and chaos, marking an ominous beginning to Republican control. Neither Jordan nor McCarthy are fit for the role of speaker, and the infighting that has followed this reality will likely pave the way to a GOP civil war, making the 2024 presidential election ripe for a blue wave.

    Political split



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