California Rep. Kevin McCarthy loses, gains as House speaker election drags on: ‘I voted present’

Two Republicans switched their vote away from Rep.-elect Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday and Wednesday.

McCarthy is facing serious headwinds in his bid to become House speaker, as he hasn’t gained a majority of votes in six rounds of voting.

Rep. -elect Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., voted for McCarthy previously, but voted ‘present’ during the fourth, fifth, and sixth round of voting. 

In explaining her vote, Spartz said that no Republicans have the votes needed to become House speaker.

‘We have a constitutional duty to elect the Speaker of the House, but we have to deliberate further as a Republican conference until we have enough votes and stop wasting everyone’s time. None of the Republican candidates have this number yet. That’s why I voted present after all votes were cast,’ Spartz said on Wednesday afternoon.  

On Wednesday evening, Spartz tweeted ‘Glad to see Kevin McCarthy having meetings with his opposition. We have to resolve it within our conference.’

‘Stalemate is not an option,’ she said.

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., flipped his vote on Tuesday and said that he wants ‘a resolution.

Donalds was later nominated for House speaker, and received 20 votes in the sixth round of voting. McCarthy received 201 votes, which is 17 votes shy of a majority.

The McCarthy-aligned super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, announced on Wednesday that it struck a deal with the Club for Growth in not backing some candidates in open-seat primaries that are safe.

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