Kevin McCarthy spotted in heated discussion with GOP holdout amid House speaker vote gridlock
Rep.-elect Kevin McCarthy is having a rough time rounding up enough votes to gain the House speakership, and frustration appears to have boiled over onto one Republican holdout.
CSPAN cameras caught McCarthy talking to Rep.-elect Andy Ogles on the House floor Thursday in an apparent attempt to garner his vote. Ogles, a Tennessee Republican, has repeatedly voted against McCarthy’s speakership bid and appears to have remained steadfast during the discussion.
As McCarthy and Ogles go back and forth during the tense conversation, McCarthy appears to become increasingly more animated and frustrated. However, what was said during the exchange remains unclear.
McCarthy’s irritation comes after falling short in several rounds of voting for House speaker this week. The California Republican lost the ninth round on Thursday after days of tense negotiations failed to sway any holdouts for the embattled lawmaker.
Since Tuesday, McCarthy has been unsuccessful in securing the 218 votes required to become speaker in nine separate roll calls.
Nineteen Republicans opposed him in the first two votes on Tuesday. His opposition has grown to 21 after the House Freedom Caucus nominated Florida Republican Byron Donalds and Indiana Republican Victoria Spartz switched her vote from McCarthy to “present.”
During the seventh and eighth ballots Thursday, Rep.-elect Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., cast a surprise vote for former President Donald Trump after he previously voted for Donalds.
In the eighth round, Republican Reps.-elect Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma both switched their votes from Donalds to Rep.-elect Kevin Hern, the Republican Study Committee chairman of Oklahoma, who was not officially nominated
Meanwhile, House Democrats have remained united behind incoming House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York, casting all Democratic votes for him in all nine rounds.
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