As Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy struggles to get the necessary number of votes to win the gavel, Rep.-elect Byron Donalds, R-Fla., shocked the House on Tuesday by switching his vote for House Speaker from McCarthy to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
Donalds had voted for McCarthy on the previous two occasions, but after 19 Republicans defected, neither candidate received the required 218 votes, marking the first time in over a century that a majority nominee required further votes.
In the first round, some dissident Republicans cast ballots for Andy Biggs, a Republican from Arizona, Jordan, Jim Banks, Lee Zeldin, a Republican from New York, and Donalds himself. In the second and third rounds, Jordan won all GOP votes cast against McCarty. Democrats, on the other hand, have stood solidly behind newly elected Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-NY.
When it came time for the third vote, Donalds was asked which candidate he would support. He chose Jordan, bringing the total number of Republicans who would not support McCarthy to 20. Jordan has stated that he is in favor of McCarthy.
Republicans who opposed McCarthy’s nomination applauded loudly after Donalds’ vote caused a commotion in the chamber and raised murmurings. In the end, McCarthy secured 202 votes from the GOP, while Jeffries received all 212 votes from his fellow Democrats. Jordan only received 20 votes from the GOP.
After the vote, Donalds claimed he altered his vote because he didn’t think McCarthy currently had the 218 votes in an appearance on “Kudlow.”
He declared, “I cast my vote for Kevin on the first two ballots, but it’s just not obvious that he has the votes.”
McCarthy does have the capacity to cross the threshold, but “there’s a lot of work to be done,” he claimed.
In order to try to wear people down, he stated, “I think it just has the reverse impact if you’re going to ask members to vote over and over and over again.” My opinion has always been that we should call a break, go into a room, work it out, have those dialogues, and then return to the floor.
The House quickly moved to adjourn until Wednesday noon, so the chamber won’t be choosing a speaker until at least then. Until a speaker is chosen, no members can take the oath of office.
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