House adjourns with no speaker as McCarthy falls short in votes

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Wednesday, January 4, 2023
Kevin McCarthy vows to stay in speaker's race despite falling short in House votes Tuesday
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Republican leader Kevin McCarthy says there's no scenario in which he'll drop his bid to become House speaker despite failing to win Tuesday.

For the first time in a century, multiple rounds of voting are taking place on Capitol Hill before a Speaker of the House is selected.

For years, it seemed that Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy would hold the office.

As of Tuesday, it seems less likely after a historic and embarrassing vote for McCarthy.

"He has been the face of the House Rep for some time. Most people, regardless of political views, see him as a nice person who doesn't rub people the wrong way, and he's raised a lot of money," said Mark Keppler, executive director of the Maddy Institute.

But with just a four-seat advantage in the House, having most people support you isn't enough.

The GOP has control of the House with 222 members.

McCarthy needs 218 votes, but after three failed rounds, political analysts say it shows where the party currently stands.

RELATED: McCarthy vows to stay in speaker's race despite falling short in House votes Tuesday

"This small group is holding out to get these major concessions out of McCarthy, but if he gives in to these people, he will weaken himself and anger other members, and they many not vote for him, so he is really between a rock and a hard place right now," said Fresno State Political Professor Thomas Holyoke.

"What this shows is that the Republican Party is deeply divided right now."

South Valley Republicans say they stand with McCarthy.

"I have every confidence that at some point, a consensus will be reached and Kevin McCarthy will be speaker of the House. He may have to make some concessions to some people who are not his stronger allies," explained Kern County Republican Central Committee Member Clayton Campbell.

Strong allies like fellow South Valley Republican David Valadao of Hanford.

"We wouldn't even be in the majority if he wasn't working so hard across the country helping candidates like myself," said Valadao.

Political analysts say that even if McCarthy secures the speaker's office, it may make little difference to Central California.

"If he is selected as speaker, he is going to be more concerned about keeping his job as speaker and worrying about the right flank than Valley issues, so I don't know how much he will be able to do for the Valley, frankly," Keppler said.

The House is at a standstill until a decision is made on the speaker. Members can not be sworn in and business can not begin.

Voting will continue Wednesday at noon.