House enters third day and seventh ballot after failing to elect Speaker

Byron Donalds in interview with

The House is scheduled to reconvene today at noon to hold a seventh vote to try to determine who the next Speaker of the House will be after Kevin McCarthy failed to reach the 218 votes required.

20 freedom caucus members showed no signs of caving yesterday after their sixth round of voting. Democrat Jeffries received 212 votes yesterday, with McCarthy ending the day with 201.

Yesterday, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) nominated Byron Donalds (R-FL) to be the Kevin McCarthy alternative.

“For the first time in history, there have been two black Americans placed into the nomination for speaker,” Roy said to a round of applause. He was also referring to the Democratic nominee, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) who has been receiving unanimous support among Democrat Representatives.

Donalds voted for McCarthy in the first two ballots on Tuesday, but joined the GOP defectors in the third ballot to vote for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). Donalds then switched his vote to vote for himself on the fourth, fifth and sixth ballots yesterday.

Voting will continue for however long is necessary to elect a Speaker. 218 votes is generally required to be elected Speaker, but there is some exceptions. That number can be reduced if members vote “present,” decline to vote, or are absent.

2023 is the first time since 1923 that the House hasn’t nominated a speaker on the first ballot. Frederick Huntington Gillett was elected as Speaker of the House on the 9th ballot in 1923.

1855 still holds the record for the longest time that it has taken to elect a Speaker. Following the 1854 election, it took the House two months to elect Nathaniel Prentice Banks as Speaker and 133 ballots.

Until a Speaker is chosen the House members can not be sworn in or take care of any other business.

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