Embattled GOP leader Kevin McCarthy lost an eighth-round vote for House Speaker on Thursday, further fueling the chaos that engulfed his party and paralyzed Capitol Hill.
One of his opponents, Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona, again nominated GOP Representative Byron Donalds as a spoiler to derail McCarthy’s path to a majority vote.
Another, Rep. Florida’s Matt Gaetz voted for Donald Trump for the second time.
And outspoken Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado named yet another Republican lawmaker when it came time to vote.
She first mentioned support only for “Kevin,” turning her knife of disapproval at the embattled GOP leader, while clarifying that her support was for the new Republican Study Committee chairman Kevin Hern of Oklahoma.
Boebert told DailyMail.com she changed her vote from Donalds to Hern because “we’re not going to get the votes” to support the black Republican from Florida.
Hern, who voted for McCarthy, also won a second vote from Rep. Josh Brecheen – also from Oklahoma.
Asked why by DailyMail.com, Brecheen said, “He’s from Oklahoma. He has a very good track record of fiscal responsibility.”
U.S. Republican Representative Kevin McCarthy listens before the House of Representatives votes for the seventh time for a new speaker at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
In the seventh ballot earlier Thursday, McCarthy’s number of “no” votes quickly passed the four-member threshold he can afford to lose, as members of the same group of “Never Kevin” Republicans shot down his quest for the gavel.
While the majority of those rebels on Florida GOP Rep. Byron Donalds voted, as they did yesterday, fiery Congressman Matt Gaetz broke from his faction to nominate Donald Trump.
It’s a purely symbolic move by a lawmaker who nearly swore never to vote for McCarthy.
Asked by DailyMail.com if he really believed Trump was a good candidate for the gavel, Gaetz dryly joked, “Yeah, that’s why I voted for him.”
That’s despite McCarthy agreeing to several concessions that would give significantly more power to the far-right House Freedom Caucus, multiple reports have said.
When it first came time to vote, Donalds was not present in the room. He later returned to vote for himself.
Otherwise, voting in the seventh round went much like the others. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene sat next to Gaetz despite the two trade jabs in the days leading up to the Speaker’s vote over their differing opinions on McCarthy.
Despite this, Greene stuck to her vote for the beleaguered House GOP Leader.
In the first round of voting, all 212 Democrats ultimately supported their new leader, Hakeem Jeffries, while McCarthy received 201 votes.
Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert broke with her fellow GOP McCarthy critics to vote for a new Speaker candidate – Republican Study Committee Chair Rep. Kevin Hern
Firebrand GOP Representatives Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene were seen sitting next to each other despite their public pause over McCarthy’s Speakership bid
Nineteen Republicans supported Donalds. And Representative Victoria Spartz of Indiana, who changed her vote from “McCarthy” to “present” on Wednesday, did so again.
Some legislators brought levity to the otherwise monotonous procedure.
Democratic Rep. Jared Huffman repeated a piece he started Wednesday in which he cast votes for his party leader, Hakeem Jeffries, in the style of a popular Internet meme known as “Leeroy Jenkins,” exaggerating the name.
GOP Rep. Elect Mike Lawler, who cast a vote for McCarthy, noted that he proudly cast his ballot from the district that is “home to Bill and Hillary Clinton.” The statement caused a chuckle from the GOP leader.
House lawmakers wearily returned to the U.S. Capitol as the Republican battle over who will lead their meager majority enters a third day.
McCarthy’s bid for the House Speakership was derailed by conservative rebels, who dubbed an ally of his the “Taliban 20.”
The House was adjourned Wednesday night after a raucous vote on whether to end the vote.
Just before 9 p.m. last night, Pete Aguilar, the new No. 3 of the House Democrats, called for individual votes to be cast after the ballot vote proved inconclusive.
Four Republicans joined the Democrats in an attempt to stretch the session for more votes — which likely would have resulted in additional losing rounds for McCarthy — but ultimately the vote fell 216 to 214 for a postponement.
For the seventh round, McCarthy was nominated by Michigan Rep-elect John James
GOP Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina stood up to Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, whom the anti-McCarthy faction nominated on Wednesday
Speaking at the U.S. Capitol ahead of Thursday’s vote, McCarthy told reporters, “I’m confident we’ll get to a solution or we won’t be successful.”
The historic stalemate has paralyzed Capitol Hill; without a speaker, the 118th House of Representatives cannot be sworn in, and new legislation cannot come to the floor or through committees – which do not yet have formal chairmen.
And on Wednesday, a group of Republican military veterans held a press conference warning that the disorder was leading to significant national security vulnerabilities. Florida Representative Michael Waltz said from the podium, “Authoritarian regimes around the world are pointing to what’s going on in the House of Representatives and saying, ‘Look at the mess of democracy, look at how it doesn’t work, can’t function.’ “‘
It has been reported that McCarthy made some major new concessions to his 20 opponents, including a measure that would allow one GOP lawmaker to provoke a vote for a new House Speaker, according to CNN – known as movement to leave the chair.
In addition to setting the motion to relinquish the seat at one vote, McCarthy also reportedly pledged conservative votes on border security and term-limit legislation.
He also reportedly agreed to give more seats on the House Rules Committee to members of the hardline right-wing House Freedom Caucus. The powerful panel acts as a gatekeeper to any legislation that comes before the table.
MCCARTHY OFFERS NEW CONCESSIONS TO OVERCOME HARD RIGHT REPUBLICANS
IN A BEAUTIFUL REVERSAL, GOP LEADER IS NOW OPEN TO ONCEON ‘RED-LINE’ DEMANDS FROM RIGHT-WING REBELS
• ONE MEMBER ‘MOTION TO EXIT’ FROM THE CHAIR SEAT
In a major concession to the ultraconservative Freedom Caucus, the California Republican has offered to cut the number of members needed to sponsor a resolution to force a vote to remove the speaker from five to one. said he would not accept.
• FREEDOM CAUCUS TO HAVE RULES COMMITTEE SEATS
McCarthy is open to allowing GOP hardliners to elect four of the party’s members to the powerful Rules Committee — no small concession as it determines what legislation makes it to the floor, and allows ANY legislature to propose amendments to spending legislation. states, including those that would fuel the measure.
• A VOTE ON TERM RESTRICTIONS
There were also discussions about introducing legislation limiting House members to three terms and senators to two terms. The upper chamber is currently headed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, meaning the proposal to limit the Senate is a no-go.
• REBELS BECOME CHAIR OF SUBCOMMITTEE
Several “Never Kevin Caucus” members are seeking high-profile assignments, including Florida’s Matt Gaetz as chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee and Maryland’s Andy Harris as head of the Health and Human Services Appropriations subcommittee
• CHANGES IN CREDIT PROCESS
The Freedom Caucus wants rule changes that would decentralize power in both the House GOP — and the rest of the chamber — to give more power to individual members. Requiring committee chairs to be elected by the committee, not the leadership, rewards fundraising and party loyalty.