Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, a longtime supporter of McCarthy, decided to vote with the other 19 Republicans in favor of Jordan, costing McCarthy a vote.
Donald tweeted following the outcome, “Rep. Kevin McCarthy actually lacks the necessary support. For two votes on the House Floor, I openly vowed to back him. The number is 218 and nobody is there right now. Our conference needs to take a break, regroup, and find someone or decide on the next course of action.”
“But nobody benefits from these ongoing votes. We will have a Republican Speaker when the dust clears, so it’s time for our conference to discuss and reach an agreement” Trump added. “Even if democracy can be messy at times, we will eventually be prepared to lead the American people. Debate is beneficial.”
The race for House speaker proceeded to a second and third vote for the first time in a century. This was the first multiple-ballot vote since 1923 because Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was unable to garner sufficient support on the first and second ballots on Tuesday afternoon.
The initial vote
During the first round, 19 Republicans voted against McCarthy, with many of them supporting Congressmen Andy Biggs of Arizona or Jim Jordan of Ohio. Of the 434 votes cast, 212 went to Jefferies, 203 to McCarthy, 10 to Biggs, and 6 to Jordan.
McCarthy’s failed attempt resulted in a second vote being held on Tuesday. Republicans who voted against McCarthy will be compelled to either support McCarthy or abstain from voting again in order to select who will be the next House speaker.
Both times, House Democrats supported New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries with unwavering unity (D). McCarthy needs to win at least 218 of the 222 Republican-held seats.
Jordan gave a nominating speech for McCarthy following the initial vote, pleading with Republicans to come together.
“The contrasts between us and the left are much greater than those between Joyce and Jordan, or Biggs and Bacon,” Jordan said. “We must band together and support him.”
Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida spoke in reaction to Jordan’s remarks and once more proposed Jordan.
Gaetz remarked, “Perhaps the best candidate for the position of speaker of the House is not someone who wants it so much. Maybe someone that has sold shares of themselves for more than ten years to attain the position of speaker of the House isn’t the best candidate for it.”
“Because he is not tied to the lobbyists and special interests that have ruined this place and ruined the country under the leadership of both Republicans and Dems,” Gaetz continued, “Maybe Jim Jordan is the appropriate guy for speaker of the House.”
As a result, during the second round, supporters of Biggs switched their ballots to Jordan. McCarthy did not get any new backers, and Jordan garnered 19 votes.
To hold a third vote, House lawmakers gathered once more on Tuesday at about 4 p.m. Eastern. The name of the House speaker had not been chosen as of the time this story was published.