Kevin McCarthy’s political career is hanging by a thread.
After failing to unite the Republican Party, he’s digging in his heels.
And now, McCarthy just made history in the worst way imaginable.
After multiple rounds of voting for the next speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican caucus leader Kevin McCarthy is finding his path to victory rapidly narrowing.
Once hailed as the future of the GOP and the inevitable next speaker once Nancy Pelosi’s majority was knocked down in 2022, McCarthy is facing stiff opposition from within his own party as more and more Republicans come out against his nomination as speaker.
And now, McCarthy could be on the verge of losing everything as the latest round of voting shows even more Republicans are abandoning him in what has become the first speakership election in a century which was not resolved on the first ballot.
The last time an election for speaker of the House was not effectively a forgone conclusion which ended on the first ballot was in 1923.
And without the necessary 218 votes required to secure the title as speaker of the House, McCarthy has little to no chance of actually filling the role Pelosi just recently stepped down from.
But the problem McCarthy has is that while Republicans currently hold 222 seats in the House of Representatives, a block of 19, then 20, and now 21 Republicans have come out against his appointment to the most powerful role in Congress.
NBC News reports, “The House resumed Wednesday, conducting fourth fifth and sixth rounds of voting for speaker. Each time, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California came up short of 218 votes, the number he likely needs to secure the job. The House held three votes Tuesday that deadlocked as hard-liners in the Republican caucus refused to back McCarthy for speaker.”
Now with six ballots having been cast, Republican opponents to McCarthy have now united behind Florida Congressman Byron Donalds as their pick to fill the speakership slot that McCarthy himself covets.
The deadlock has thrown the speakership into chaos as few political pundits and analysts know what will happen next, though it seems like McCarthy will either offer more concessions to the Freedom Caucus or a compromise candidate will emerge to replace him.
With McCarthy only winning around 200 votes from most Republicans in Congress, all the Democrats voting for their own replacement to Nancy Pelosi, and the remaining 20 Republicans rallying around Donalds, none of the three sides have a majority.
Some sort of deal will likely have to be cut between at least two of the three factions, but with McCarthy’s support now appearing to crack within the Republican caucus as more and more Republicans begin to bolt with each new round of voting, it may only be a matter of time until another Republican candidate emerges as the new favorite for the position.