For a long and frustrating third day, divided Republicans left the speaker's chair of the U.S. House sitting empty Thursday, as party leader Kevin McCarthy failed and failed again in an excruciating string of ballots to win enough GOP votes to seize the chamber's gavel.
For a long and frustrating third day, divided Republicans kept the speaker's chair of the U.S. House sitting empty Thursday, as party leader Kevin McCarthy failed again and again in an excruciating string of ballots to win enough GOP votes to seize the chamber's gavel.Pressure was building as McCarthy lost a seventh, eighth and historic ninth round of voting, tying the number it took the last time this happened, 100 years ago, in a prolonged fight to choose a speaker in a disputed election.
With his supporters and foes locked in stalemate, feelings of boredom and desperation seemed increasingly evident with no end in sight. Nevertheless, a 10th vote was launched.
One McCarthy critic, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, cast votes in two rounds for Donald Trump, a symbolic but pointed sign of the broader divisions over the Republican Party's future.
"It's not happening," said Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado who nominated a new alternative, Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, and urged fellow Republicans to embrace a future without McCarthy: "We need a leader who is not of the broken system."
McCarthy could be seen talking, one on one, in whispered and animated conversations in the House chamber, and met privately earlier with colleagues determined to persuade Republican holdouts to end the paralyzing debate that has blighted his new GOP majority.
"We're having good discussions and I think everyone wants to find a solution," McCarthy told reporters shortly before the House gaveled in its third session.