Kevin McCarthy has lost his seventh, eighth, and ninth House speakership ballots.
Nineteen Republicans voted for Rep. Byron Donalds after the third day of voting commenced on Thursday. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) voted for former President Donald Trump, who had not received any votes over the first six rounds of voting, and Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) voted “present.” Twenty-one Republicans also didn’t vote for McCarthy on the eighth, ninth, and tenth ballots.
The results means McCarthy has not picked up any ground despite making major concessions Wednesday night. The California congressman’s prospects to grab the gavel now seem almost nonexistent, and colleagues are starting to mull alternatives so that the House can commence its business.
The most notable difference in the votes on Thursday from the three votes on Wednesday was Gaetz’s call for “Donald John Trump” to be speaker, which drew murmurs from the chamber. Gaetz has previously expressed interest in Trump becoming the speaker, although Trump has said he wouldn’t be interested.
McCarthy lost all six speaker held ballots prior to Thursday. He lost the first two on Tuesday with 19 Republicans defecting, with Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) joining the 19 to reject McCarthy on the third. The same 20 Republicans declined to vote for him on all three ballots held on Wednesday, as did Rep. Spartz, who switched her vote from McCarthy to “not present.” The chaos continued into Wednesday night, with the House narrowly voting to adjourn until Thursday at noon — lest McCarthy be humiliated for a fourth time.
The devastating Wednesday came after former President Donald Trump tried to publicly rally support for McCarthy. It didn’t help at all, and Trump has since pivoted to using the GOP division to complain about the 2020 election. Some of the Republicans who oppose McCarthy have even (very mildly) called out Trump for his endorsement. Gaetz said it was “sad,” while Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) proclaiming on the House floor that Trump should tell McCarthy to step aside.
McCarthy’s made a series of concessions Wednesday night in an effort to woo Gaetz, Boebert, and the other Republicans who have opposed him, but it isn’t likely to matter. While some of the defectors have indicated they could vote for McCarthy, several, including Gaetz and Boebert, have made clear that they will never vote for him under any circumstances. “I’m absolutely a no,” Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) said on Thursday. “You don’t ever have to ask me again if I’m a no. Never have to ask me again if I’m a on Kevin McCarthy. I will never vote for Kevin McCarthy.”