GOP chief McCarthy loses second spherical election for US Home Speaker

WASHINGTON – Republican leader Kevin McCarthy again failed to secure enough support for his bid to be speaker of the US House of Representatives in the second vote of the day.

During two tense ballot polls, all Democrats on the floor rallied unanimously around new minority leader Hakeem Jeffries, DN.Y., while a sect of Republicans cast their second votes for Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, a longtime McCarthy ally.

Jordan, who nominated and voted for McCarthy, won 19 votes.

U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reacts as lawmakers address the first day of the 118th Congress in the U.S. Capitol Building’s Chamber of Representatives March 3.

Win Mcnamee | News from Getty Images | Getty Images

McCarthy’s failure to garner public support from his entire faction has already cast a shadow over the new Republican majority and exposed decades of divisions within the party. The differences were deepened by former President Donald Trump emboldening a small group of ultraconservatives.

Trump eventually backed McCarthy’s bid for speaker, as did other influential Conservatives like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. But the ex-president’s influence within the GOP faction did not prevent McCarthy’s initial defeat on Tuesday.

After the first vote, Biggs tweeted that the record showed that Republicans “made it clear that our party deserves a new leader.”

“McCarthy should resign and allow us to choose someone else on the next vote,” he wrote.

The mood in the House after the first vote was cheerful and energetic, due in part to the presence of the members’ children and family members, many of whom came to witness the swearing-in ceremonies. But until a speaker is elected, the remaining elected members of the chamber cannot be sworn in, as their oath of office is taken by the speaker.

House Republicans began Tuesday morning with a caucus meeting seen as a final opportunity for McCarthy to deliver his pitch in front of members who may be on the fence.

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After the meeting but before the vote, McCarthy told reporters that “we might have a fight on the ground, but the fight is for the conference and the country, and I’m fine with that.”

“Look, I have the record for longest speech ever on the floor, I have no problem getting a record for most votes for the speaker as well,” he added.

Judging by early statements from key Republican holdouts, conservatives had a long list of demands that they felt McCarthy failed to meet.

House Democrats, meanwhile, openly savored the internal chaos that was throwing the opposing party into turmoil.

“We’re certainly seeing chaos in Congress today, and this is an extension of the extremism we’ve seen from the GOP,” new House Minority Whip Katherine Clark, D-Mass., said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

She accused McCarthy of “thrown away his moral compass”.

This is an evolving story, please keep checking back for updates.

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