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These Are the 6 House Republicans Who Did Not Vote for Kevin McCarthy to Be Speaker

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Updated: | Originally published:

If it were a boxing match, it wouldn’t have lasted as long. In his bid for the House speakership, it took Republican Kevin McCarthy 15 rounds of voting before he received the backing of a majority of representatives.

The House cannot tackle any other business until it has a speaker. But until late Friday night, the newly-elected Republican majority remained fractured over the leadership election.

Read More: The Surreal Limbo of Being a Member of Congress Who Can’t Get Sworn In

Even after former President Donald Trump urged the party’s lawmakers to side with McCarthy, a handful of GOP members delayed the California Republican from clinching the votes necessary to take hold of the chamber’s gavel. McCarthy eventually won after four days of stalemate, but not without his reputation getting bruised along the way.

According to the House’s Office of the Historian, the last time a speaker election required two or more votes on the floor happened in 1923. The 34th Congress had the longest speaker election when Nathaniel P. Banks was elected after two months and 133 ballots.

Who didn’t vote for McCarthy?

Throughout the process that started on Tuesday, all 212 Democrats consistently cast their vote for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

At the beginning, McCarthy had 203 supporters, including himself, of the House’s 222 Republican representatives. He didn’t have the support of these 19 members:

  • Andy Biggs, Ariz.-05
  • Dan Bishop, N.C.-08
  • Lauren Boebert, Colo.-03
  • Josh Brecheen, Okla.-02
  • Michael Cloud, Texas-27
  • Andrew Clyde, Ga.-09
  • Eli Crane, Ariz.-02
  • Matt Gaetz, Fla.-01
  • Bob Good, Va.-05
  • Paul Gosar, Ariz.-09
  • Andy Harris, Md.-01
  • Anna Paulina Luna, Fla.-13
  • Mary Miller, Ill.-15
  • Ralph Norman, S.C.-05
  • Andy Ogles, Tenn.-05
  • Scott Perry, Pa.-10
  • Matt Rosendale, Mont.-02
  • Chip Roy, Texas-21
  • Keith Self, Texas-03
  • Read More: The Chaos Is the Point: The McCarthy Holdouts Are Trolling Democracy

    McCarthy’s numbers initially got worse over time. By the third round of voting, he’d also lost the support of:

  • Byron Donalds, Fla.-19
  • By the eighth round, he’d lost the vote of:

  • Victoria Spartz, Ind.-05
  • And by the ninth round, McCarthy had also lost the vote of:

  • Ken Buck, Colo.-04
  • That was the way it stayed through the end of Thursday. However, when voting resumed on Friday, McCarthy gained some ground, winning the support of several previous detractors. Though it still wasn’t enough. As of the 13th ballot, McCarthy had 214 votes, four shy of the threshold. The remaining Republicans who did not vote for him were:

  • Andy Biggs, Ariz.-05
  • Lauren Boebert, Colo.-03
  • Ken Buck, Colo.-04
  • Eli Crane, Ariz.-02
  • Matt Gaetz, Fla.-01
  • Bob Good, Va.-05
  • Wesley Hunt, Texas-38
  • Matt Rosendale, Mont.-02
  • When the House returned after a brief adjournment to continue voting late Friday night, McCarthy believed he had done enough to win on the 14th ballot, but he was denied in dramatic fashion by Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz—who, at the end of the roll call, voted “present.” Gaetz joined five other Republicans in not voting for McCarthy:

  • Andy Biggs, Ariz.-05
  • Lauren Boebert, Colo.-03
  • Eli Crane, Ariz.-02
  • Matt Gaetz, Fla.-01
  • Bob Good, Va.-05
  • Matt Rosendale, Mont.-02
  • Shoving and shouting ensued on the House floor before an apparent agreement was made that allowed the same six to still withhold their votes but this time McCarthy would come out victorious—though McCarthy may have undermined his own leadership to do so.

    Read More: McCarthy Finally Elected House Speaker After Giving Away ‘Kitchen Sink’

    Who did they vote for instead?

    Originally, the holdouts voted for a mix of alternatives, including one of their own Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona as well as founding member of the Freedom Caucus Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, and Florida Rep. Byron Donalds.

    Over the next two rounds, they coalesced around Jordan, before coalescing around Donalds in the fourth round.

    By Thursday night, the holdouts were split with 12 votes for Donalds, seven for Oklahoma Rep. Kevin Hern, and one (Gaetz) for former President Trump. Anyone in the country can technically be elected speaker, even if they are not a sitting member of the House, though this has never happened.

    Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana voted present in the eighth through 11th rounds, while Colorado’s Rep. Ken Buck did not vote in the last five rounds—moves that lower the threshold for a majority. Spartz had told reporters that she maintained her support for McCarthy but that he must ultimately “address the concerns of other people.” Buck, meanwhile, told CNN that McCarthy needs to either “cut a deal” or “step aside and give somebody else a chance.”

    How did the impasse end?

    McCarthy resisted calls to withdraw his nomination and worked to negotiate a compromise with the holdouts in his party to break the deadlock. He reportedly offered rules changes that could weaken the influence of the speakership (as well as his hold on the position) and that would empower rank-and-file members.

    Read More: How McCarthy’s Concessions to Far-Right Detractors Could Transform the House

    On Friday afternoon, in the 12th round, Jordan received four votes, Hern received three, while Buck and Rep.-elect Wesley Hunt of Texas did not vote. And on the next ballot, six Republicans backed Jordan, while Buck and Hunt again did not vote. (Hunt had reportedly flown home to be with his wife and newborn child, but he returned later Friday night to continue supporting McCarthy.)

    In the penultimate roll call, Biggs won two votes, Jordan won two votes, and Boebert and Gaetz each voted present. In the 15th and final round of voting, which took place after midnight, the same six Republican holdouts from the previous round all changed their votes to present, enabling McCarthy to claim the speakership with 216 votes.

    But winning the gavel is just the start. Whether McCarthy can successfully lead such a divided caucus going forward will be the next question.

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