A lot happened in this vote. McCarthy picked-up fourteen votes. There are now seven who oppose him. He needs three of these votes to become Speaker of the House.
12:20pm: I find it shocking that Mike Garcia (R-CA), while nominating Kevin McCarthy on the 12th ballot, took a shot at the Democrats for proxy voting, but said nothing about the second anniversary of January 6th. Meanwhile, much of Jim Clyburn‘s nominating speech for Hakeem Jeffries focused on January 6th. Here is Garcia:
12:25pm: Clyburn references a fake Tocqueville quote: “America is great because she is good.” To be fair to Clyburn, he does say that the Tocqueville quote is disputed. If you want to learn more about this phrase and its context listen to our discussion with historian Tracy McKenzie in Episode 92 of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast. The conversation revolved around McKenzie’s book We the Fallen People: The Founders and the Future of Democracy. Here is Clyburn:
12:27pm: Matt Gaetz rises to nominate Jim Jordan for Speaker. He questions whether McCarthy has “earned the position” of Speaker because he does not have the votes. Gaetz calls McCarthy’s failure to step down an “exercise in vanity.” Gaetz adds that Kevin McCarthy is the “Lebron James of special-interest fundraising.”
12:29: Debbie Lesko of Arizona is sitting behind Gaetz nodding in favor of what he is saying. She eventually voted for McCarthy.
12:30: Gaetz also says nothing about January 6th anniversary.
12:31: McCarthy supporters (I assume) are walking out of the chamber. Democrats are all looking on with curiosity. CNN is reporting that McCarthy (who is not in the chamber at the moment) told them to do this.
Here is Gaetz:
12: 32: Lauren Boebert nominates Kevin Hern. She says nothing about the second anniversary of January 6th. Gaetz and Boebert are on different pages in terms of nominees, but I fully expect them to be the last two McCarthy dissenters standing.
12:37: Dan Bishop of North Carolina has voted for Kevin McCarthy for the first time. This is a pick-up for McCarthy.
12:37: Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma has voted for Kevin McCarthy for the first time. This is a pick-up for McCarthy.
12:41: Michael Cloud of Texas has voted for Kevin McCarthy for the first time. This is a pick-up for McCarthy.
12:41: Andrew Clyde of Pennsylvania has voted for Kevin McCarthy for the time time. This is a pick-up for McCarthy.
12:44: Byron Donalds of Georgia has voted for Kevin McCarthy. This is a pick-up for McCarthy.
12:48: Bob Good of Virginia votes for Jeff Jordan. This means McCarthy will not lose his twelfth straight vote. But it is worth nothing that McCarthy is gaining ground.
12:57: Anna Paulina Luna of Florida votes for Kevin McCarthy for the first time. This is a pick-up for McCarthy.
1:00: Mary Miller of Illinois votes for Kevin McCarthy for the first time. This is a pick-up for McCarthy. This is what she tweeted minutes after her vote:
1:02: Ralph Norman of South Carolina votes for Kevin McCarthy for the first time. This is a pick-up for McCarthy. CNN is reporting that one hour ago he said he was going to vote for Byron Donald of Florida.
At this point it is clear that major deals were made behind the scenes. We don’t know the nature of the concessions McCarthy made to these people, but they will no doubt severely weaken his speakership. What will these deals and concessions mean for the country and its ability to govern?
1:04: Scott Perry of Pennsylvania votes for Kevin McCarthy for the first time. This is a big pick-up for McCarthy. Perry is the chair of the Freedom Caucus. He was also involved in trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Here is Perry shortly after his vote:
1:07: Chip Roy of Texas votes for Kevin McCarthy for the first time. This is a pick-up for McCarthy.
1:09: Keith Self of Texas votes for Kevin McCarthy for the first time. This is a pick-up for McCarthy.
1:10: Victoria Sparks of Indiana votes for Kevin McCarthy. Another pick-up for McCarthy.
At this point one needs to wonder what moderate Republicans are thinking about all the concessions McCarthy has made to the right-wing.
1:17: Paul Gosar and Matt Gaetz are having an intense conversation in the back of the chamber and then Gosar walks up to vote for McCarthy for the first time. Watch:
1:18: Andy Ogles of Tennessee votes for Kevin McCarthy for the first time. This is a pick-up for McCarthy.
A this point, there are still seven votes against McCarthy. They are Andy Biggs (AZ), Lauren Boebert (CO), Eli Crane (AZ), Matt Gaetz (FL), Andy Harris (MD), Bob Good (VA), and Matt Rosendale, (MT) .
1:28pm: The final vote is McCarthy (214), Jeffries (211), Jim Jordan (4), Kevin Hern (3). This is the first time McCarthy has won a plurality of votes. But he still does not have a majority. They will go to a thirteenth vote.
1:29: Steve Scalise, a McCarthy lieutenant, is talking with Eli Crane, one of the McCarthy dissenters.
1:39: CSPAN cameras fanning out to catch McCarthy supporters talking to the seven dissenters.
1:40: Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL) sits down next to Matt Gaetz and has a less than one minute conversation with him. I would love to know what that conversation was about.
1:48: C-SPAN cameras focuses on Patrick McHenry, a McCarthy lieutenant, is negotiating with Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert. Earlier McHenry was negotiating with Montana’s Matt Rosendale.
1:48: The vote is still open. Any of these seven McCarthy dissenters can still change their votes.
1:55: It’s official. House Clerk Cheryl Johnson, clerk of the House of Representatives, says that we still don’t have a Speaker of the House.
2:00: On to the 13th ballot. I had a lot of fun live-tweeting this, but I just don’t have the time to do the same thing for the 13th ballot. I will say this however. James Comer of Kentucky is now nominating McCarthy on the 13th ballot. He is talking about investigating Anthony Fauci, Hunter Biden’s laptop, Merrick Garland, and the “China virus.” Now that it looks like the dissenters are weakening and McCarthy has a legitimate chance to become Speaker we are getting a clear preview of what this GOP-controlled Congress will look like.