California Rep. Kevin McCarthy Loses, Wins As House Speaker Election Goes On: ‘I Voted Absentee’

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Two Republicans cast their vote away from Representative-elect Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday and Wednesday.

McCarthy is facing a serious setback in his bid to become speaker of the House, as he has not received a majority of votes in six rounds of voting.

Rep. Victoria Spartaz, R-Ind., previously voted for McCarthy, but voted “absent” in the fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds of voting.

In explaining his vote, Spartz said that no Republican has the votes to become speaker of the House.

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Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrived at the Capitol and the House met for a second day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, January 4, 2023.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrived at the Capitol and the House met for a second day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, January 4, 2023.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“We have a constitutional duty to elect the Speaker of the House, but we need to be more deliberate as a Republican congress so that we have enough votes and stop wasting everyone’s time. None of the Republican candidates have this number yet. That’s why I voted absent after all the votes were cast,” Spartaz said Wednesday afternoon.

On Wednesday night, Spartaz tweeted “I’m happy to see Kevin McCarthy holding meetings with his opponent. We need to resolve our conference.”

LIVE BLOG: The Vote for Speaker of the House

Rep. Victoria Spartaz, R-Ind., traveled to the border of Ukraine and Poland on the weekend of March 4, 2022, to see firsthand the humanitarian crisis created by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Rep. Victoria Spartaz, R-Ind., traveled to the border of Ukraine and Poland on the weekend of March 4, 2022, to see firsthand the humanitarian crisis created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
(Courtesy of representative Victoria Spartan’s office)

“Stalemate is not an option,” she said.

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., he flipped a vote on Tuesday and said he wants a “resolution.

Donalds was later nominated for speaker of the House, and received 20 votes in the sixth round of voting. McCarthy received 201 votes, 17 votes shy of a majority.

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Representative Byron Donalds, Republican of Florida, speaks during a panel discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, USA, on Saturday, February 27, 2021.

Representative Byron Donalds, Republican of Florida, speaks during a panel discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, USA, on Saturday, February 27, 2021.
(Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The McCarthy-aligned super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, announced Wednesday that it reached an agreement with the Club for Growth not to support some candidates in safe open seat primary schools.

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