Scroll To Top

Kevin McCarthy Racks Up Historic 11th Loss for House Speaker

McCarthy Boebert Hern

The hard right keeps digging in against him.


Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California has again failed to become speaker of the House, with his colleagues having taken 11 votes as of Thursday afternoon without a majority settling on a speaker -- and the House can't do any other business until that happens.

McCarthy, a former majority and minority leader in the House, is opposed by many members of his party's far right, even though he's pretty far to the right himself. They have put forth alternative candidates including Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, and even Donald Trump, as the speaker usually is a member of the House but doesn't have to be. Earlier votes had seen Republican support for hard-righters such as Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Democrats have supported Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, who was previously set to become minority leader, with Democrats now outnumbered by Republicans in the chamber. While, as a member of the minority party, he will likely not be elected speaker, he's now received more lifetime votes for the position than longtime Republican Speaker John Boehner, The Washington Post notes.

Far-right and, of course, anti-LGBTQ+ Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado Thursday nominated Hern as speaker on the ninth ballot. He's an ultraconservative with a string of zeroes on the Human Rights Campaign's Congressional Scorecard, but that's what McCarthy and Donalds have received too. Matt Gaetz, a hard-right representative from Florida, was among the few supporting Hern; Gaetz had voted for Trump as speaker earlier and then went back to voting for him. Gaetz has said McCarthy should withdraw.

The adamance of the "never Kevins" has persisted even though sources said McCarthy has made some important concessions to them, such as allowing a single representative to force a vote on ousting the speaker, The New York Times reports.

But as Boebert left the House chamber after the ninth vote, she said, "There are no concessions. The deal is over with him. He does not have the votes. He will not become speaker. Nope," according to the Times. Later, though she and other hard-righters were spotted talking with one another.

The ninth vote ended with Jeffries receiving 212 votes, McCarthy 200, Donalds 17, and Hern three, which one representative voting present. A majority would be 218 votes. McCarthy then failed to win a majority in the 10th and 11th rounds.

The last time the House struggled this much to elect a speaker was 100 years ago. It took nine votes for Republican Rep. Frederick H. Gillett to become speaker. Now McCarthy has surpassed that.

(Image above, from left: U.S. Reps. Kevin McCarthy, Lauren Boebert, and Kevin Hern)

Happening Now:

[iframe height=None width=None]
Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Channel Promotion

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories