CHICAGO (CBS) – The standoff on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives continued on Wednesday as Republicans failed for a fourth, fifth and sixth time to rally around Rep. Kevin McCarthy for speaker.
CBS 2's Noel Brennan was monitoring the historic battle.
The House is adjourned until Thursday now. So how did we get here?
Republicans have a slim majority in the House. About six GOP lawmakers are considered "never Kevin." They want someone more conservative. More than a dozen others are on the fence.
The nominations kept coming, and votes did too, but round after round, McCarthy, the Republican leader, fell short of the total he needs to be the next speaker, thanks to about 20 Republican members who refused to give him their vote.
"Same outcome, no change," said Rep. Jan Schakowsky and fellow Democrat Rep. Mike Quigley can only guess where it goes from here.
"This hasn't happened for 100 years," Quigley said. "So this is really uncharted territory. What happens next is just something I don't think that (Republicans) have thought out."
Schakowsky noted that none of the members have been sworn in for the 118th Congress yet.
Brennan: "What would you rather be doing today than spending all day casting the same vote over and over and over again?"
"You know, structuring the House, forming committees," Quigley said. "Who's going to serve in what position? Passing some initial legislation."
But nothing can happen in the House until there's a speaker and all members are sworn in.
"There's so much to be done, and I'm ready to get started, but no one can," Schakowsky said.
The lawmakers have work that won't start until a stalemate ends.
"If we want to function, we want to show the rest of the world that we can get things, it begins today," Quigley said.
Members of Congress can't even hire staff, nothing, so the work of the nation comes to a grinding halt.
So how long can this go on? In theory, indefinitely.
The longest vote was in the mid-1800s when it took a couple of months.
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