Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) sent representatives to talk to the 20 conservative holdouts on Tuesday night in an effort to prevent McCarthy from becoming the Speaker of the House.
According to Punchbowl News, McCarthy dispatched a delegation of Republican legislators to reach an agreement with the 20 conservatives before the renewed voting on Wed. at noon. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), French Hill (R-AR), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Garret Graves (R-LA), and Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) were among his allies.
Several hours were apparently spent in negotiations between the two sides, but no agreement is said to have been reached.
McCarthy reportedly instructed McHenry to transmit to all Republican members the demands of the 20 conservatives in conjunction with discussions. For Speaker McCarthy to be elected, “everybody needs to be on the same page regarding what the needs are for rules and structural reforms,” McHenry said.
McCarthy’s effort to become speaker on Tuesday was challenged by about 10% of the Republican House majority. McCarthy fell 16 votes short of the required number of votes to receive the gavel.
During the first day of of the 118th Congress at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, in Washington, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California converses with a staff member while listening to votes being cast for the position of the future Speaker of the House.
McCarthy told reporters on Tuesday that although the outcome was not what he had hoped for, the challenge presented by the Republican’s narrow House majority was daunting. Three rounds of voting had failed to produce a Speaker.
“Is today the day I was hoping for?” McCarthy said, “No. No one has ever attempted to become speaker for the first time with such a tenuous majority if you go back over the past 70 years.”
McCarthy added that no rival candidate had the support necessary to defeat him.
“Is there a conference competitor who has a chance to win?” McCarthy enquired. “I don’t believe that is present. So we can keep going around and around. Either someone will elect a Democrat as a result of a mistake, or we’ll figure out how to cooperate in order to be able to rule.”
Wednesday at noon, the House will vote once more for the speaker. The legislators will continue voting until a Speaker has been selected. Before the House elects a leader, no other House business may be conducted.