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House adjourns as speaker stalemate drags on with 11 ballots cast over 3 days

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Republican stalemate over House speaker continues 02:21

The House speaker election dragged through its third day as Republican leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy failed to secure a majority on five more ballots, surpassing the most ballots cast in a speaker's election since before the Civil War.

The House adjourned shortly after 8 p.m. ET until noon Friday.

The prolonged fight makes this the longest battle for the speaker's gavel since 1860, which required 44 ballots to determine a winner.

The stalemate seemed to have no end in sight as the rebel Republicans remained united in voting against him, although several began backing Rep. Kevin Hern, who has been voting for McCarthy. Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of the most high-profile of the group, voted for former President Donald Trump on the two ballots of the day, and then on the fifth ballot, Gaetz nominated him. 

McCarthy made two key concessions to the 21 conservative holdouts on Wednesday, but none of them supported him in the four rounds of voting that took place over the course of more than eight hours on Thursday. With 433 members voting, a majority of 217 votes were needed to secure the speaker's gavel, meaning McCarthy could only afford a handful of defections within the House GOP's thin majority.

After Two Days Of Failing To Elect A Speaker, House Continues To Hold Votes
U.S. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) scratches his head in the House Chamber during the third day of elections for Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 05, 2023 in Washington, DC. Win McNamee / Getty Images

The continuing impasse leaves the House effectively in limbo, since lawmakers must first elect a speaker before moving on to other business in the new Congress. 

McCarthy's conservative critics say he can't be trusted to lead the House GOP, and have largely thrown their support behind Rep. Byron Donalds from Florida, although he lost several votes to Hern on Thursday. 

Democrats, meanwhile, have remained united behind New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the first Black party leader in either chamber of Congress. Jeffries and his lieutenants said Democrats "are united and are committed to staying in Washington for as long as it takes to get the Congress organized."  


After meeting of GOP holdouts concludes, it's unclear whether McCarthy has won any of them over yet

A meeting of a several of the McCarthy GOP holdouts in Republican Whip Tom Emmer's office concluded late Thursday night, and it remains unclear whether McCarthy has won any of their votes yet. 

As members of the group departed, they were vague about whether any agreement had been reached and would not make any commitments. 

Rep. Jim Jordan, who has backed McCarthy but spent time in the meeting, was asked whether Republicans would have a speaker Friday. 

"I hope so, but we'll see," he responded. 

Rep. Scott Perry, a leading McCarthy opponent, said the group is still "evaluating" the earmarks part of the discussion. When he was asked if there's a chance the House would have a speaker Friday, he replied, "There's a chance that anything happens."

Rep. Mary Miller declined to divulge details from the meeting except that they ate Chipotle. 

By Zak Hudak

Freedom Caucus would have more power under framework being considered

According to several Republicans briefed on Republican talks, the framework under consideration includes rules changes, budget promises and committee guarantees. Talks are fluid, but the framework being discussed to win over some of the McCarthy critics is coming together. Its key characteristic is that House Freedom Caucus members would be central in the House, not on the outskirts of the GOP.

If the deal does go through and McCarthy becomes speaker, the outcome could mean a House where McCarthy is speaker, but the House Freedom Caucus is at the table on every significant matter.

By Robert Costa

McCarthy: "I think we've got a little movement"

As McCarthy left the House chamber and headed to the speaker's suite, he expressed confidence in his prospects of becoming speaker, despite his failure in the 11 rounds of voting so far, but he declined to predict when the voting would go his way.

"I'm not putting any timeline on it," he told reporters. "I just think we've got some progress going on. We've got members talking. I think we've got a little movement, so we'll see."

He also says he's not concerned about setting the threshold for a motion to vacate the chair to a single member. This would allow any single member to call for a vote of no confidence in the speaker. It's a demand that was made by some of the holdouts and one he recently conceded, though he initially opposed it. 

"That's the way it's always been except for the last speaker," he said, referring to the change under former Speaker Nancy Pelosi to allow only a majority of either party to make that motion. "I think I'm very fine with that."

He also promised that none of his detractors would lose committee assignments for opposing him.

Speaking broadly about the speakership fight, he said, "It's better that we go through this process right now so we can achieve the things we want to achieve for the American public ... So, if this takes a little longer and it doesn't meet your deadline, that's okay. Because it's not how you start; it's how you finish. And if we finish well, we'll be very successful."

By Ellis Kim

House adjourns until Friday at noon

Scalise's motion to adjourn was approved in a vote of 219 to 213. The vote is a victory for McCarthy, as it puts off a 12th ballot to elect a House speaker and allows negotiation with the group of conservative holdouts to continue.

One Republican joined all Democrats in opposing the motion.

By Melissa Quinn

Scalise introduces motion to adjourn until noon Friday

After the House clerk announced a speaker had not been elected on the 11th ballot, GOP Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana offered a motion to adjourn until noon Friday.

Democrats were urged to oppose the motion, according to a notice from Democratic Whip Katherine Clark's office, and a roll call vote was requested and ordered.

By Melissa Quinn

Eleventh vote concludes with no speaker

For the 11th time in three days, the House failed to elect a speaker. And McCarthy detractors remained unswayed in their votes for someone else. 

Jeffries received 212 votes, while McCarthy received 200 votes. Trump received one vote, others received 19, and one member voted present. 

By Kathryn Watson

McCarthy poised to fail on 11th ballot

For the 11th time, McCarthy is likely to fail in his bid to be speaker. By the time the House reached the members whose last names start with "D," Hern and others had already secured seven Republican votes, enough to crush McCarthy's 11th bid. 

By Kathryn Watson

House launches into 11th ballot

Despite hopes from some that the House would move to adjourn, GOP Rep. French Hill of Arkansas immediately rose to nominate McCarthy to the speakership. 

Hill particularly harped on the national debt and spending, insisting that McCarthy will help bring the nation's fiscal house under control. 

It's unclear how many ballots the House will attempt on Thursday, after four ballots have failed already. 

By Kathryn Watson

Gaetz nominates Trump for speaker

After voting for Trump for speaker before, GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz stood to nominate Trump for the speakership.

Gaetz said he nominated Trump to make the House great again. 

By Kathryn Watson

No speaker elected after 10th round, as McCarthy fails to rally more support

At the end of the 10th voting round, McCarthy received 200 votes to Jeffries' 212 votes, mirroring the results of the prior vote. Support for Hern from the anti-McCarthy coalition grew to seven votes this go around, while Donalds earned support from 13 of his Republican colleagues.

Spartz voted "present" again, and Buck missed the vote, as he is returning to Colorado for a planned medical procedure.

The House tellers tallied the votes and confirmed none of the candidates received the simple majority needed to become speaker.

"A speaker has not been elected," House clerk Cheryl Johnson declared.

By Melissa Quinn

McCarthy allies and detractors suggest progress is being made

McCarthy allies emerging from negotiations in GOP Rep. Tom Emmer's office suggested that they think they can work through the contours of some type of agreement soon. 

"I think the hope is we have adjournment here in the next – after this vote series and that way people can talk and work through the contours of this," GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry said of the 10th vote series. 

McHenry said they need time. Adjourning allows key members to understand tradeoffs and what an agenda could look like going forward, he said. 

Rep. Chip Roy, one of the holdouts against McCarthy, said, "A lot of good work has been done today. There is still a lot of work to be done." 

Multiple McCarthy holdouts have been seen walking in and out of Emmer's office. 

By Ellis Kim

Bob Good claims some McCarthy supporters have come to detractors asking how they can get McCarthy to withdraw

Rep. Bob Good of Virginia, one of the Republican McCarthy detractors, told CBS News that he's feeling pretty emboldened. Good said he's feeling good and "we are going to get the best possible speaker once we get Kevin McCarthy to go ahead and recognize the reality." 

"It seems like we are moving in that direction," Good said. "We've been having members who have been supporting him coming to us and saying, 'How do we get him to withdraw so we can consider other candidates? How do you see this playing out?' We are having discussions about who those best candidates might be that we can vet together in conference once we get Kevin McCarthy to withdraw."

The main thing, Good said, is to have the right leader, and "that's not Kevin McCarthy." 

By Caitlin Huey-Burns

McCarthy poised to fall short of threshold needed to become speaker on 10th ballot

With the 10th round of voting well underway, it appears likely McCarthy will again fail to garner the support from the GOP conference needed to win the speaker's gavel.

The faction of McCarthy's detractors have continued to hold firm in opposing him, though three so far, Rep. Andy Biggs and Rep.-elect Eli Crane, both of Arizona, as well as Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, switched their votes from Donalds to Hern on the 10th ballot.

Boebert, Brecheen and Gaetz continued to back Hern in this latest voting round.

By Melissa Quinn

Buck misses speaker votes for "planned non-emergency medical procedure"

Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican who supported McCarthy in earlier votes for speaker, did not vote on the ninth ballot and will miss any subsequent rounds Thursday for a planned medical procedure, his office said.

Buck's office confirmed in a statement to CBS News that the Republican is returning back to his home state of Colorado for the non-emergency procedure. It's unclear when he will return to Washington and whether he will be in attendance for any voting that takes place Friday.

"He hopes to return to D.C. as soon as possible and get back to work for the American people," the statement said.

—  Melissa Quinn and Rebecca Kaplan


Ciscomani said McCarthy "is here not to be somebody, but to do something"

The GOP congressman, who was born in Mexico, said the U.S. gave him and his family the ability to live out their dreams. Ciscomani's dad drove a bus his whole life, and his family grew up in a two-bedroom apartment, he said. Now, he's a member of Congress. 

"Where else in the world could we have our story?" Ciscomani said. 

Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar rose to nominate Jeffries, as he has before. 

Aguilar thanked Ciscomani for sharing his story, saying he hopes the chamber can swear in a speaker and get to the work of the people. Aguilar said there is "nothing more important" than the work they can accomplish in this chamber. 

GOP Rep.-elect Anna Luna of Florida then stood to nominate GOP Rep. Byron Donalds, and vowed that a Democrat will not hold the speaker's gavel in a Republican-controlled House, despite divisions in the GOP.

GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado rose next to nominate Republican Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma. 

"I'm casting my vote for Kevin Hern, and I hope you will as well," Boebert said. 

The clerk then kicked off voting. 

By Kathryn Watson

House begins vote on 10th ballot, the most since before the Civil War

As the sun set on Washington, D.C., the House moved on to a 10th ballot, making this the longest speaker election since before the Civil War. 

GOP Rep.-elect Juan Ciscomani of Arizona, his children seated near him, stood to nominate McCarthy. 

"Everyone in this chamber understands the need to serve our constituents," Ciscomani said. "Kevin understands this as well as anyone." 

Ciscomani said McCarthy "is here not to be somebody, but to do something." 

The GOP congressman, who was born in Mexico, said the U.S. gave him and his family the ability to live out their dreams. Ciscomani's dad drove a bus his whole life, and his family grew up in a two-bedroom apartment, he said. Now, he's a member of Congress. 

"Where else in the world could we have our story?" Ciscomani said. 

Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar rose to nominate Jeffries, as he has before. 

Aguilar thanked Ciscomani for sharing his story, saying he hopes the chamber can swear in a speaker and get to the work of the people. Aguilar said there is "nothing more important" than the work they can accomplish in this chamber. 

GOP Rep.-elect Anna Luna of Florida then stood to nominate GOP Rep. Byron Donalds, and vowed that a Democrat will not hold the speaker's gavel in a Republican-controlled House, despite divisions in the GOP.

GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado rose next to nominate Republican Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma. 

"I'm casting my vote for Kevin Hern, and I hope you will as well," Boebert said. 

The clerk then kicked off voting. 

By Kathryn Watson

House wraps 9th round of voting without electing a speaker

As in prior rounds, none of the candidates for speaker garnered the simple majority of votes needed to claim the gavel.

McCarthy received 200 votes, while Jeffries earned 212 votes. The bloc of 20 McCarthy detractors split, with 17 backing Donalds and three voting for Hern — Gaetz switched his vote from Trump to Hern on the ninth ballot. 

Despite being nominated for the speakership, Hern cast a vote for McCarthy. Spartz again voted "present." One McCarthy backer, Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, did not cast a ballot.

By Melissa Quinn

McCarthy on verge of losing 9th speaker vote

Fifteen minutes into the ninth vote, McCarthy appears to again lack the votes for victory. 

McCarthy has already lost seven Republicans, and, just like in previous votes, his detractors do not appear to be budging. Most of McCarthy's detractors have not yet voted, but enough are casting votes for Hern and Donalds to make the outcome clear. Gaetz switched his vote from Trump to Hern.

It's not clear whether the House will pursue a 10th vote, or attempt to adjourn for the day so members can negotiate further. On the first two days of voting, the House held three votes each. The House has been voting for about four hours so far on Thursday. 

By Kathryn Watson

House heads to 9th ballot in historic new round of voting

After tellers finished tallying votes from the eighth voting round, House Clerk Cheryl Johnson again announced that "a speaker has not been elected," setting up a ninth ballot to elect a speaker.

The speaker election for the 118th Congress is now tied with the 1923 contest for the most ballots since before the Civil War.

Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas nominated McCarthy this round, and addressed his remarks to the American people, "who have been watching these proceedings and are concerned about what they've seen in this chamber over the past two days."

Nehls, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, said many of the concerns raised by the group of 20 McCarthy foes have been "addressed and accepted" by him.

"I believe this battle we are waging must end," he said, noting McCarthy has agreed to make changes to House rules, including lowering the threshold to bring a motion to vacate the chair, which would allow a single member to call for a vote to oust the speaker.

The motion, Nehls said, allows the Republican conference to hold the speaker accountable.

"The American people gave us, my friends, us, the Republicans, the majority, and their vote of confidence to change the direction of our country," he said. "The American people are begging for leadership."

After Nehls made the case for McCarthy, Rep. Ted Lieu of California, the vice chair of the Democratic caucus, rose to nominate Jeffries.

"Democrats are unified to tackle the climate crisis, while Republicans are mired in their own leadership crisis," he said. "Madam clerk, House Democrats are ready, willing and able to get to work for the American people. We will do so under the leadership of Hakeem Jeffries, who has a plan for the American people."

GOP Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana then delivered remarks nominating Donalds for speaker, lamenting that over the past 15 years, "the voices that were sent here to equally, to equally represent each of the 435 districts across this nation have become diminished" through a consolidation of power to the speaker and members of the House Rules Committee.

"We have had more discussion and debate over the last three days than I have participated in on this floor for the last two years, and it's healthy," Rosendale said.

Acknowledging that "change is uncomfortable," he said changes are necessary in a "broken system."

Rep. Lauren Boebert then rose to nominate Republican Rep. Kevin Hern for speaker, formally throwing his name into the mix after she voted for him in the eighth round.

"There was a gut check that said we need someone that is going to convince my colleagues on this side of the aisle that it's time to get going, it's time to build momentum. Many of you have said it," Boebert said. "You see that Kevin McCarthy does not have the votes. You are understanding that he is not going to get there."

The Colorado Republican said the House needs to begin to "evaluate what life after Kevin McCarthy looks like." Hern, she said, has "lived the American dream" and can unify the party while delivering results.

"We can have a happy warrior leading us," she said.

By Melissa Quinn

House completes 8th vote without electing a speaker

Little changed during the eighth round of voting, with McCarthy still falling far short of the speakership. 

Jeffries received 212 votes, to McCarthy's 201. Donalds earned 17 and other candidates earned three. Rep. Victoria Spartz voted present. Gaetz yet again voted for Trump. 

It's unclear whether a ninth vote will take place next, or whether the House will attempt to adjourn. 

By Kathryn Watson

McCarthy again poised to fall short of majority

With voting on the eighth ballot ongoing, McCarthy is again on track to fail in his bid for speaker in the latest round. Nine Republican members-elect so far have supported candidates other than McCarthy on the eighth round, putting the simple majority needed to win the speakership out of reach.

Republicans Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma voted for Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, the first time his name has been raised for the post. Hern is the incoming chairman of the Republican Study Committee for the 118th Congress. 

Gaetz again voted for Trump.

By Melissa Quinn

Democratic leaders vow to stay in D.C. "for as long as it takes"

House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark and Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar issued a statement as the eighth round of voting began insisting that House Democrats will remain in Washington "for as long as it takes" to resolve the speaker election. 

"House Democrats are united and ready to get to work," they said. "Unfortunately, House Republicans remain unable to organize themselves in a manner that allows the Congress to move forward and do the business of the American people."

They added that House Democrats "were able to organize and get to work during the longest government shutdown in American history and then again in the wake of the violent insurrection that took place on January 6th, 2021."

"House Democrats are united and are committed to staying in Washington for as long as it takes to get the Congress organized," they said. 

Just how long that will take remains unclear. If Republicans gather sufficient votes, they could motion to adjourn, as they ended up doing Wednesday night. 

By Kathryn Watson

8th round of voting starts with Brian Mast nominating McCarthy as "different"

GOP Rep. Brian Mast of Florida rose to nominate McCarthy for an eighth round of voting. 

Mast, a veteran, said he has the same fear as his colleagues in other states — that they might squander the things for which their ancestors fought. Mast served in the U.S. Army for more than 12 years. 

"I fear that we don't live up to what some of our friends and brothers and sisters in arms have very literally given their lives for," Mast said, adding that it brings a tear to his eyes. 

Mast called his colleagues to sharpen each other and "make each other better." 

He said that when Republicans and Democrats began the process of choosing leaders months ago, he told McCarthy not to view GOP members as friends or individual votes for speaker. He asked McCarthy to see Republican members as people who are looking out to Americans "and telling them that we vouch for you — that is what we are doing." 

Mast insisted McCarthy is "different," and not Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell or John Boehner, who have all been the targets of criticism from conservative House members over the years.

Democratic Rep. Katherine Clark, the Democratic whip, rose to nominate Jeffires. "Two hundred and twelve House democrats stand united behind our leader, because Hakeem Jeffries stands united for the American people," she said. 

GOP Rep. Andy Biggs rose to nominate Republican Rep. Byron Donalds. 

"It's not dysfunction and it's not imperiling," Biggs said of this process. 

By Kathryn Watson

Perry says no deal reached with McCarthy to secure support

After casting his vote for Donalds on the seventh ballot, Perry, head of the House Freedom Caucus, tweeted that a "deal is NOT done" to lock up support for McCarthy and accused his GOP colleague of violating his trust.

"When confidences are betrayed and leaks are directed, it's even more difficult to trust. Totally unsat," Perry tweeted. "I will not yield to the status quo."

By Melissa Quinn

7th round of voting ends with McCarthy again falling short

Rep. Dan Bishop speaks before the seventh round of voting in the House chamber to elect a speaker on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. Andrew Harnik / AP

The seventh round of voting concluded with no candidate securing enough votes to become speaker. 

Jeffries received 212 votes and McCarthy received 201. Donalds earned 19 votes, while GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz voted for former President Donald Trump. GOP Rep. Victoria Spartz voted present. 

McCarthy did not gain any votes over previous rounds, and his detractors do not appear to be budging.

The group of Republicans who supported McCarthy's challenger remained unchanged from Wednesday's proceedings, with the exception of Gaetz throwing in Trump's name instead. Here are the 19 GOP members-elect who cast their votes for Donalds in round seven: 

  • Andy Biggs of Arizona
  • Dan Bishop of North Carolina
  • Lauren Boebert of Colorado
  • Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma
  • Michael Cloud of Texas
  • Andrew Clyde of Georgia
  • Elijah Crane of Arizona
  • Byron Donalds of Florida
  • Bob Good of Virginia
  • Paul Gosar of Arizona
  • Andy Harris of Maryland
  • Anna Paulina Luna of Florida
  • Mary Miller of Illinois
  • Ralph Norman of South Carolina
  • Andrew Ogles of Tennessee
  • Scott Perry of Pennsylvania
  • Matthew Rosendale of Montana
  • Chip Roy of Texas
  • Keith Self of Texas
By Kathryn Watson

McCarthy again lacks the votes to win

With the vote ongoing, McCarthy already lacks the votes needed to win, an indication that his negotiations have failed to win over his critics. By 10 minutes into the vote, more than seven members had voted for other candidates, denying McCarthy the majority of votes needed to win and forcing an eighth ballot.

After the clerk's admonishment to comport themselves with quiet and civility, members are sitting more quietly through this vote than they have in the past.

By Kathryn Watson

House moves to 7th round of voting as McCarthy again vies for speaker's gavel

After House Clerk Cheryl Johnson declared that a quorum is present, she delivered a brief reminder to members-elect that because the House has not yet organized, the clerk has the responsibility to "preserve order and decorum" in the chamber.

Johnson told members-elect that their remarks must be addressed through the chair and not to their colleagues and asked them to refrain from "engaging in personalities toward other members-elect."

"The chair appreciates the cooperation of members-elect in respecting and upholding order and decorum in the House," she said.

Rep.-elect John James, a Michigan Republican, then rose to deliver remarks nominating McCarthy, saying there is "far more that unites us than divides us, regardless of our political party and ideology."

"I've heard a lot of D.C. politicians tell me how broken D.C. is," he said. "I don't need D.C. politicians to tell me how broken D.C. is. The American people have already told us how broken D.C. is by giving Republicans the majority so we can fix this mess."

James highlighted the Republican agenda for the 118th Congress but said the GOP's inability to coalesce around a speaker candidate has halted any progress on their legislative priorities.

"We're still stuck at the starting block," he said. "The American people have told us by putting a Republican majority here that they want Republicans to lead and they want a government that works and doesn't embarrass them, and we are failing on both missions. That must change today."

James said he has "hope" Republicans can unify and stressed that McCarthy has earned his trust.

"You don't fire a guy who is winning," he said. James concluded his remarks to applause from McCarthy's supporters.

Rep. Pete Aguilar, chair of the Democratic caucus, then nominated Jeffries for speaker, as he did before each of the three votes Wednesday.

"There is no victory in adjourning without doing the business of the people," Aguilar said at the start of his remarks, a knock at Republicans who claimed a small win Wednesday with a vote to adjourn for the day. "House Democrats are united behind a champion of expanding and protecting the right to vote."

The California Democrat praised Jeffries for his efforts to protect the right to vote, and said the House needs a leader who "believes in strengthening democracy, who understands that to cast a vote is a sacred responsibility that should be afforded to the many."

Democrats also offered applause as Aguilar concluded his remarks nominating Jeffries, after which GOP Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina rose to nominate Florida Rep. Byron Donalds for speaker.

Bishop began his remarks criticizing a tweet from Rep. Cori Bush, a Democrat from Missouri, in which she called Donalds a "prop." 

"This is the tired, old, grotesquely racist rhetoric that we've seen far too long," Bishop said.

The North Carolina Republican then highlighted a document from McCarthy outlining his plans for the House under Republican control, which Bishop said included a public acknowledgement that "this institution is broken."

"So let me help my colleagues in the minority understand: we are doing the people's business. That's what these three days have been about. Three days," he said. "We are committed to make change to this institution that has lost its way." 

Bishop concluded saying the House needs "more Byron Donalds," after which he was met with more muted applause from the group of Republicans opposing McCarthy's bid for speaker. 

By Melissa Quinn

Stefanik tries and fails to suggest the House lacks a quorum

Rep. Elise Stefanik, who is in GOP leadership, asked that the clerk establish that a quorum is not present. 

But House staff counted heads, and the clerk determined that a quorum is present. McCarthy allies want more time to be able to negotiate.

By Kathryn Watson

House gavels in for third day of speaker election

The House gaveled in for yet another day of speaker election drama just after noon.

Before the House was in session, GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of the most vocal McCarthy detractors, was spotted speaking with Democrats, including Rep. Jerry Nadler. 

By Kathryn Watson

Jeffries to House GOP: "Stop the bickering, stop the backbiting and stop the backstabbing"

House Democratic leaders condemned their Republican colleagues Thursday for their unsuccessful efforts to elect a House speaker, warning their inability to do so has ramifications for national security and their ability to assist constituents.

"House Democrats are ready, willing and able to get to work on behalf of the American people, but we need a willing partner on the other side of the aisle," Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic leader, told reporters in a press conference. "It's my hope that today the House Republicans will stop the bickering, stop the backbiting and stop the backstabbing of each other so we can have the back of the American people."

House Democratic Whip Katherine Clark of Massachusetts lambasted GOP members, saying they are in "historic turmoil."

"Years of blindly pursuing power, currying the favor of special interests and bowing to election deniers has left the GOP in shambles," she said. "Kevin McCarthy is now being held hostage to his own ambitions by the dangerous members that he's enabled."

In response to a question from CBS News' Scott MacFarlane about whether there are national security concerns over the protracted speaker election, Jeffries said "without question."

"There are national security vulnerabilities. This is a dangerous moment for Americans and for the world, one of the reasons why the Congress needs to organize," he said. "There are public health vulnerabilities. It's one of the reasons why the Congress needs to organize and Republicans need to get their act together."

Jeffries said there are also "safety vulnerabilities" that Republicans and Democrats should come together to address, such as gun violence.

"These are the real challenges that the American people are confronting that are being held hostage as a result of unfortunate Republican dysfunction," he said.

Clark stressed that because House committees have not yet organized, members and members-elect — who have yet to be sworn in — are not receiving intelligence briefings and cannot set up their district offices to provide services to their constituents. 

"It is just a matter of luck at this point that there is not something we miss because of this profound dysfunction in the Republican Party, and we have to look at this for the outrage and the danger that it is," she said. "This is more than some internal squabbling over who in the GOP conference likes or doesn't like Kevin McCarthy. This is about your responsibility to organize government."

By Melissa Quinn

McCarthy ally details state of play in speaker negotiations

Speaking to reporters Thursday morning, moderate Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, an ally of McCarthy, confirmed two key changes McCarthy has offered the holdouts. 

The first involves lowering the threshold for the motion to vacate the chair to just one person, meaning any single member can call for a vote to oust the speaker. 

The second gives the holdout group the power to pick two of the nine members of the House Rules Committee, which has a lot of power over which legislation goes to the floor and which amendments get votes. McCarthy would get to pick one member, and the remaining six would be picked by the House GOP steering committee, which is generally favorable to McCarthy. 

Fitzpatrick said the developments are "not concessions" 

"I was in the meeting last night. They were just clarifications on a lot of things that were not clarified previously," he said, noting that a lot of members lived through the Boehner years when the threshold to motion to vacate the chair was one person. And while he acknowledged that's the source of the "challenges" for moderates to accept the motion to vacate, McCarthy's detractors "at least convinced me last night that it will not be misused."

He also said the allocation of Rules Committee seats is consistent with the makeup of the conference. 

"Almost everything that they're bringing up are healthy rule changes. They're designed to open up the House, increase transparency and all that," he said.

His plan is to go meet with moderate party members to make sure they are comfortable with these changes.

"Kevin's doing the absolute best job he can. He's doing an amazing job trying to keep things together. You know, we have a lot of independent minded folks," he said. He also said he does not think McCarthy has given up too much power and he will still be an effective speaker.

Fitzpatrick noted that McCarthy will have to write a new rules package with these changes, one of the first things the House would vote on after the speaker and new members are sworn in. Since McCarthy has already pledged to give people 72 hours to review any legislation, he will likely have to allow that timeframe for people to review a new rules package, meaning it could be a few more days before a speaker is elected.

When the House reconvenes at noon, members could either adjourn for another chunk of time as negotiations are ongoing, or resume voting.

By Rebecca Kaplan

McCarthy offers to lower threshold for motion to "vacate the chair" to one member

McCarthy has offered to lower the threshold for a motion to "vacate the chair" to one member of Congress, offering a key concession to his detractors, according to one member of Congress involved in the negotiations.

McCarthy previously proposed that five people be required to bring what is essentially a vote of no confidence to the House floor. His detractors wanted such a vote to be able to be triggered by a lone member of Congress. 

It's not yet clear whether McCarthy's offer is sufficient to earn him the votes he needs to win the speaker election. 

By Rebecca Kaplan

"I think we're making progress," McCarthy tells reporters

Entering the Capitol shortly before 10 a.m., McCarthy sounded a note of optimism: "I think we're making progress, I think people are talking and that's a good sign. I think that's very good. Look, we're all working together to find a solution."

Asked if he has the votes, McCarthy responded, "We'll see." 

By Rebecca Kaplan

What's next in the speaker election

The House of Representatives adjourned for a second day without electing a House speaker, after Rep. Kevin McCarthy fell short for a sixth time, failing to win a majority of support. CBS News chief election and campaign correspondent Robert Costa reports on what's next:

What's next after House adjourns without resolving speaker election 01:40


Trio of top Republicans warn continued stalemate will impact national security

Three top Republicans who are set to take over the House Foreign Affairs, Armed Services and Intelligence Committees issued a joint statement Thursday reiterating their support for McCarthy for speaker and warning that a continued failure to fill the role leaves the White House, Pentagon and State Department without oversight.

"The Biden administration is going unchecked and there is no oversight of the White House, State Department, Department of Defense, or the intelligence community," Reps. Michael McCaul of Texas, Mike Rogers of Alabama and Mike Turner of Ohio said. "We cannot let personal politics place the safety and security of the United States at risk."

McCaul is the top Republican of the Foreign Affairs panel, Rogers is the lead Republican of the Armed Services Committee and Turner is the top GOP member of the Intelligence Committee. All three are set to take over as chairman of their respective panels, but cannot do so until a speaker is elected and the House organizes.

The trio said McCarthy's agenda outlines a "stronger approach" to China, a plan to investigate the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 and plans for how the GOP-led House will hold the Biden administration accountable.

By Melissa Quinn

Only 8 House speaker votes have ever taken more ballots than this one

It has been nearly a century since a speaker vote took multiple ballots. Only eight other times in U.S. history has it taken more than three rounds.

According to the House of Representatives, there have been 127 speaker elections since 1789. In the modern era, a nominee needs a majority of the House members voting — 218 if all 435 are present — to become speaker. Members of Congress cannot be sworn in until there's a speaker. 

Prior to this week's votes, 14 speaker elections required multiple ballots, with 13 of those occurring before the Civil War. The only time it happened in the post-Civil War era was in 1923, when it took nine tries.

Six of those 14 elections were decided on the second or third ballot, but others took more than that — with the longest election finally ending after nearly two months and 133 ballots.

Read more here.

By Caroline Linton

This is a key sticking point for some Republicans voting against McCarthy for speaker

The ability of a single House member to motion to "vacate the chair" — or to bring to the floor a vote of no confidence in a speaker — is a key sticking point for some of the Repubicans voting against House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy's bid to be speaker. And it's one of the reasons, among others, that McCarthy has so far failed in every round of voting for speaker on the House floor. 

Some of the most conservative members of the Republican conference gave McCarthy a list of demands that included as a key condition allowing a single member to bring such a vote to the floor. McCarthy countered with a proposed rule that would allow a motion to vacate the chair with the support of five members, rather than one. That didn't satisfy some of the most conservative members of his caucus, including Reps. Scott Perry and Byron Donalds, both of whom have voted against him on every ballot.

In an open letter, Perry and eight other Republicans said McCarthy's rules proposal "continues to propose to restrict the availability of the traditional motion to vacate the chair as a means of holding leadership accountable to its promises."

The demand by the holdouts would restore the House rules on vacating the chair to what they were before Rep. Nancy Pelosi was elected speaker in 2019. Under Pelosi, a motion to vacate could be offered on the House floor only if a majority of either party agreed to it. Before that rules change, a single member could move for a vote to unseat the speaker.

Read more here.

By Kathryn Watson

McCarthy said he didn't think another speaker vote Wednesday would be "productive"

After meeting behind closed doors with some of his detractors for nearly three hours Wednesday night, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters he does not believe another vote that night, which would have been the seventh round, would result in a different outcome.

"I think it's probably best that people work through some more," he said. "I don't think a vote tonight does any difference, but I think a vote in the future will."

The California Republican said progress was made in negotiations with the Republicans opposing his bid for speaker, but did not believe another round of voting Wednesday night would be "productive."

Stepping out of the meeting with McCarthy and his allies, Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, two staunch McCarthy opponents, told reporters their resistance to his bid had only been reinforced.

"Look, he's a desperate guy whose vote share is dropping with every subsequent vote, and I'm ready to vote all night, all week, all month and never for that person," Gaetz said.

Boebert, meanwhile, predicted "increased opposition" to McCarthy and said she would remain firmly opposed to his nomination.

"You cannot negotiate in a lack of trust. There is no trust," she said.

—Melissa Quinn, Ellis Kim


McCarthy still not dropping out, several Republicans say

Allies of House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy in his efforts to become speaker are telling colleagues his meeting Wednesday night with his critics was an airing of grievances that wasn't a disaster. Many issues remain unresolved, but the huddles in House Majority Whip Tom Emmer's office have at least been sustained conversations, they said. McCarthy is not dropping out and still sees a path to the speakership, several House Republicans said.

The view among some on the GOP side tonight is that the group of McCarthy critics is not a monolith, and while Reps. Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert and a few others might never vote "aye" on McCarthy, promises regarding the handling of primaries and House committees could nudge the opposition a bit. They say the talks need time to unfold, however.

Part of the reason House GOP leaders wanted to adjourn Wednesday night was that they felt they were making progress with some House Freedom Caucus members on a possible set of parameters that might coax some of the critics to vote "aye" — or at least present, which would lower the threshold needed by McCarthy to prevail in the speaker election. They want to give the Freedom Caucus members time to think through Wednesday night's talks.

By Robert Costa
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