The House of Representatives came to a standstill on Tuesday as nearly 20 Republicans in the lower legislative chamber did not vote for GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy of California for speaker, ensuring the position couldn’t be filled after the first vote.
Nineteen Republicans voted for other candidates to take over the House speakership, siphoning critical votes away from McCarthy as the Democrats voted en bloc for Democrat Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York.
The split resulted in neither McCarthy nor Jeffries having a majority vote to take the speakership, causing the House to grind to a halt and preventing each member from being sworn-in or do any official business for the first time in a century.
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ari., received 10 votes; GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio received six votes; and Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana, Byron Donalds of Florida, and former Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York each received one vote.
The 19 GOP representatives who voted against McCarthy are Biggs, Reps. Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Josh Bechreen of Oklahoma, Michael Cloud of Texas, Andrew Clyde of Georgia, Eli Crane of Arizona, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Bob Good of Virginia, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Andy Harris of Maryland, Ana Paulina Luna of Florida, Mary Miller of Illinois, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Andy Ogles of Tennessee, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Matt Rosendale of Montana, Chip Roy of Texas, and Keith Self of Texas.
The House is taking up a second ballot for the speakership for the first time since 1923, with McCarthy being nominated for the speakership by Jordan.
Jordan putting McCarthy up for the speakership may have won over some members but, with six Republicans and counting voting for a different candidate, the House will move into a third ballot.
Jeffries was renominated by the Democrats while Gaetz nominated Jordan as an alternative Republican candidate to McCarthy.
It is unclear if McCarthy has the votes to secure the speakership in the second vote but, of the conservative candidates nominated, he has the support of the vast majority of House Republicans.
Republicans who won in districts taken by President Biden in 2020 vowed last week to keep holding votes until McCarthy is voted in as speaker.