A long-brewing fight between prospective House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) and America First members of Congress and the Freedom Caucus has come to a headway in what has been one of the most chaotic first days of a new Congress in recent American memory.
Hardline conservatives, led by Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fl.) have long said that they will not vote for McCarthy as Spaker despite repeated attempts by the California Representative to court their votes.
The 19 holdout Republicans have instead championed either Representative Andy Biggs (R-Az.), nominated by Paul Gosar (R-Az.) and Representative Jim Jordan (R-Oh.) nominated by Gaetz.
Republicans now believe that it is not likely that they will vote in a Speaker today and that it may need to go in to the next day before an agreement can be reached.
In a rare and shocking scene, Gosar and Gaetz were seen talking to Representative Alexandria Occasio Cortez (D-Ny.), possibly in an attempt to broker a deal to gain Progressive caucus votes for their alternative to McCarthy.
The Daily Caller Reports–
Gosar & Gaetz chatting with AOC after McCarthy fails to secure the votes he needed to become Speaker.
2023 is weird already
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) January 3, 2023
GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy is poised to lose a third round vote for the House Speakership, with at least one Republican lawmaker defecting and joining McCarthy’s conservative opposition.
It comes after 19 Republican rebels derailed McCarthy’s first and second vote to become Speaker. It threw the party further into chaos on their first day in the majority.
The group of dissenters put their weight behind GOP Rep. Jim Jordan in the second ballot of the process that is leaving the start of Congress in limbo.
But the third round of votes saw McCarthy’s hopes of the top spot in the House shrink even further, with at least one more Republican voting against him.
Florida GOP Rep. Byron Donalds switched his vote in the latest tally, dropping McCarthy in favor of joining the conservatives who backed Jordan.
It is the first time in 100 years a Speaker has not been chosen in the first ballot.