Kevin McCarthy attempts to lock up the speakership during the late night vote amid uncertainty over GOP Holdouts


Kevin McCarthy attempted to hold onto the vote to be elected Speaker of the House as the yet-to-be-sworn elected members gathered late at night for the 14th roll call.

The mood will be close. At the most recent roll call, McCarthy garnered 114 votes, again below the majority, while six Republicans still held out. It was rumored that some of them, like Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who previously delivered a blistering speech against McCarthy, would simply vote “present” and lower the threshold he needed to win. CNN reported that Gaetz was seen walking out of McCarthy’s office, but would not say how he would vote.

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There was also an expectation that two Republicans absent from Friday’s roll call would return, helping McCarthy’s chances again.

Some Democrats, meanwhile, seem resigned to the possibility that the weeks-long standoff between the Republicans may soon come to an end. They had enjoyed 11 consecutive votes with Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries garnering the most votes of any speaker candidate, albeit not enough of a majority.

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“The word is circulating around. The intent is still strong. Kevin McCarthy is still standing,” one Democratic lawmaker said before entering the chamber.

If McCarthy can get a win tonight, plans are to move on to swearing in the members and then passing a set of rules. There is some concern among Republicans that given some of McCarthy’s concessions on the Freedom Caucus right, a handful of moderates will vote against the package.

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In nominating McCarthy, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) President Joe Biden’s comment about the lengthy process that it was “embarrassing.”

“We know it’s messy, but open and transparent debate sets us apart from authoritarian regimes,” McHenry said.

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