McCarthy picks up another vote for speaker in 13th round but falls short again

Kevin McCarthy picked up another vote for House speaker on Friday during the 13th round of voting, but still fell just a few votes short of capturing a majority.

Rep.-elect Andy Harris of Maryland switched his vote to McCarthy, the 15th vote change seen in the two votes held Friday.

That switch gave McCarthy 214 votes, and while that was not quite enough for a majority, it showed that members continue to break for the GOP leader a day after he made a series of concessions to members of the House Freedom Caucus. The incoming Democratic leader, Rep.-elect Hakeem Jeffries of New York, received 212 votes.

In the prior vote held on Friday, McCarthy picked up the votes of 14 members who had either been voting against him or were voting ‘present.’

The momentum seen Friday for McCarthy sparked optimism that he can soon win a House majority, although several members say it might still take days to solidify the win.

The six remaining GOP holdouts are a significant obstacle, as most of that group has said they will never vote for McCarthy. The remaining GOP holdouts are Reps.-elect Andy Biggs of Arizona, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Elijah Crane of Arizona, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Bob Good of Virginia and Matt Rosendale of Montana.

In the 13th round of voting each one of the six holdouts voted for Rep.-elect Jim Jordan of Ohio.

One way around them is to see if any are open to voting ‘present,’ which would not count as a vote and lower the minimum number of votes needed to claim a majority.

But several members and staff said negotiations – and votes on the House floor – may continue through the weekend as the talks continue.

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