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A chaotic week, 15 votes, and finally Speaker of the House: Kevin McCarthy

WASHINGTON — Republican Kevin McCarthy was elected Speaker of the House in the historic 15th ballot in the early hours of Saturday morning, after a chaotic week that tested the new Republican majority’s ability to govern. overcame resistance from the ranks and rising tensions in the chamber.

After a tough four days of voting, McCarthy turned over a dozen conservative supporters, including the House Liberal caucus speaker, shy of grabbing the new parliamentary gavel.

McCarthy was on the verge of winning in the 14th round as the House resumed for a late-night session, but fell one vote short.

Earlier, tensions boiled over the chaotic scene on the House floor after McCarthy fell one vote short in the tumultuous 14th ballot.

Even after two key Republican supporters voted to “attend,” it lowered the tally McCarthy would have needed, but it wasn’t enough. He strode to the back of the conference room, confronted Rep. Matt Gates, and sat with Rep. Lauren Boebert and other holdouts. Fingers were pointed, words exchanged, and violence clearly avoided.

At one point, Alabama Republican Mike Rogers began charging at Gates, but another Republican, Richard Hudson, physically pulled him back.

“Be polite!” someone shouted.

Rep. Matt Gates (left) gestures to Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Republican, Florida (left) during a showdown after Gates voted “present” on the House floor late Friday. Gaetz’s vote was his one of the votes that knocked out McCarthy in the 14th presidency vote. He eventually won on the 15th ballot.

Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Rep. Richard Hudson (RN.C.) pulls back Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) from left to Rep. Matt Gates (R-Fla.) in the 14th round of the speaker's ballot as Congressman. ) and so on.  House on Friday January 6, 2023.

Rep. Richard Hudson (RN.C.) pulls back Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) from left to Rep. Matt Gates (R-Fla.) in the 14th round of the speaker’s ballot as Congressman. ) and so on. friday house.

Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

Republicans immediately moved to adjourn, but a colleague said, “Again!

A small number of Republican supporters likewise began voting in attendance, one that was headed for a dramatic end to a fourth long day of bitter rivalry that showed the strength and vulnerability of American democracy, and ultimately dropped the tally needed to grab the gavel to.

McCarthy had told reporters earlier in the day that he believed he had a vote to end this once and for all.

The surprising event of the day happened after McCarthy agreed to many of his detractors’ demands. This includes the reinstatement of a long-standing House rule allowing one lawmaker to call a vote to remove him from office.

Despite securing the votes he needed, McCarthy emerged as a weakened voice, relinquishing some authority and constantly under threat of being kicked out by detractors.

But he could also be emboldened as a survivor of the most brutal battle for the gavel in U.S. history. I have never been

Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, after the House of Representatives elected a fourth-day speaker and met to convene the 118th Congress in Washington, California Republican Kevin Kevin after losing the 14th vote in the House. Congressman McCarthy responds.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California) elected a speaker in Washington on Friday as the House held its fourth day of meetings to call the 118th Congress, reacting after losing the House’s 14th vote. To do.

The showdown that thwarted the new parliament took place against the backdrop of the second anniversary of the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. The attack shook the country when a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump tried to block Congress’ approval of the Republican Party. Lost to Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

At a Capitol event on Friday, some lawmakers, mostly Democrats, held a moment of silence and praised the officers who helped defend Congress that day. and gave away medals to other people.

“America is a land of laws, not chaos,” he said.

When one of McCarthy’s most ardent challengers lashed out at Republican leaders in the afternoon’s presidential vote, many Republicans, tired of the spectacle, briefly walked out.

The contours of the deal with conservatives that have thwarted McCarthy’s rise came after three dismal days and an 11-vote failure in a modern-day intraparty rivalry.

A bright McCarthy told reporters when he arrived at the Capitol. we are going to shock you. ”

Republican Scott Perry, chairman of the Conservative Freedom Caucus, who was the leader of Trump’s effort to challenge the 2020 election, tweeted after voting for McCarthy: “We are at a tipping point. I’m in.

Another Republican supporter, Byron Donalds (of Florida), who was repeatedly nominated as an alternate candidate for chairman, was replaced on Friday and voted for McCarthy.

Trump may have played a role in rocking the holdout. Donalds said he had spoken to the former president the day before, who had urged Republicans to end the public debate.

When Rep. Mike Garcia nominated McCarthy on Friday, he also thanked the U.S. Capitol Police, who were given a standing ovation on Jan. 6 for protecting lawmakers and democratic legislative seats.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California) speaks at a ceremony marking the second anniversary of the rioting by then-President's supporters Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, accompanied by the family of a congressman and a fallen military officer, Donald Trump. Trump.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California), accompanied by the family of a congressman and a fallen military officer, spoke at a ceremony marking the second anniversary of a riot by supporters of then-President Donald Trump. Certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press

But in nominating Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat Jim Cliburn recalled the horrors of the day and told colleagues:

Without a speaker, the House of Commons will not be able to sworn in its members and begin its 2023-24 session.

For a party that has just gained majority control, electing a chairman is usually an easy and enjoyable task. But not this time. About 200 Republicans have been sabotaged by 20 of his far-right colleagues who said McCarthy was not conservative enough.

Just as some Republican speakers in the past, including John Boehner, have struggled to lead the rebellious right wing, the new congress’s turbulent start has preceded the Republicans now dominating the House. The result was a government shutdown, a stalemate, and Boehner’s early retirement when conservatives threatened to expel him.

The agreement McCarthy has presented to the holdouts from the Freedom Caucus and others centers around a rule change they have been asking for for months. These changes would reduce the powers of the Speaker of the House and give laymen the power to influence the drafting and passage of bills.

At the heart of the new deal is the restoration of House rules, which allow one member to issue a motion to “vacate the chairman”, essentially taking a vote to remove the chairman. You will be able to McCarthy had resisted allowing a return to the long-standing rule that former chairman Nancy Pelosi had abolished.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on the floor of the House of Representatives to attend the 14th ballot for Speaker of the House Friday, Jan. 6, 2023.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on the floor of the House of Representatives to attend the 14th ballot for Speaker of the House Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. After losing that vote, McCarthy was shocked and angrily confronted by Rep. Matt Gates, R-Fla., on the House floor. After the adjournment vote loomed, the House continued in session to conduct his 15th ballot, which McCarthy ultimately won.

Jacqueline Martin/Associated Press

The Holdout’s other wins are more ambiguous, with proposed deals including clauses to expand the number of seats available on the House Rules Committee, a clause that imposes a 72-hour obligation to put the bill on the table before voting. , and contains a clause promising to attempt to amend the Constitution. Imposes federal limits on the number of terms a person may serve in the House and Senate.

For the first time since 1923, what began as a political novelty in which no candidate won the gavel on the first ballot devolved into a bitter Republican feud and a deepening potential crisis.

Before Friday’s vote, Democratic leader Jeffries of New York had the most votes on all ballots, but fell short of a majority. could not be raised.

The longest battle for the gavel began in late 1855, dragging out 133 votes for two months in the debate over slavery leading up to the Civil War.

AP writers Mary Clare Jalonick and Kevin Freking and video journalists Nathan Ellgren and Mike Pesoli contributed to this report.

https://chicago.suntimes.com/2023/1/7/23543426/house-speaker-congress-kevin-mccarthy-15th-vote-matt-gaetz-freedom-caucus A chaotic week, 15 votes, and finally Speaker of the House: Kevin McCarthy

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