Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Daniel Chaitin.
Additionally, this post is a few days old, so it best serves as a historical reference of the arduous process to become Speaker here in 2023.
After two votes Thursday, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was no closer to winning the speaker's gavel, but the Republicans who oppose him split up three ways.
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) was the alternative GOP candidate with the most votes, earning 19 in the first ballot of the day and 17 in the second. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) voted twice for former President Donald Trump, and, in a twist, two Republicans voted for Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK) in the second ballot.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) made a show of it, first announcing that she was voting for "Kevin"
not of the House Freedom Caucus, before making it clear she was voting for Hern by noting her pick was unanimously voted the next chairman of the Republican Study Committee. Rep. Josh Brecheen (R-OK) joined Boebert in voting for Hern.
Hern, a businessman-turned-politician, has served in the House since 2018 when he replaced Jim Bridenstine, who left Congress to become administrator of NASA. When his name came up in the second vote on Thursday, Hern voted for McCarthy. This situation is similar to when some holdouts voted for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) on Tuesday, but Jordan kept voting for McCarthy and even nominated McCarthy for one of the ballots.
The final tally for the second ballot Thursday, and eighth ballot total since voting began Tuesday, was 212 votes for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), 201 votes for McCarthy, 17 for Donalds, two for Hern, and one for Trump.
Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN), who voted for McCarthy on Tuesday, stuck to her Wednesday trend of voting "present"
for the first two ballots Thursday. Spartz indicated she plans to keep voting "present"
until progress is made toward finding a candidate who can win a majority.
House members cannot be sworn in until a speaker is chosen, holding up any legislative business and committee assignments in the 118th Congress. The threshold for a nominee to win the speaker's gavel is 218 votes, but that number decreases if members vote "present,"
decline to vote, or are absent.
The House will continue until someone reaches a majority to become speaker.