US House elects McCarthy as speaker, ending 4-day chamber deadlock
After his six GOP opponents voted "present", the total votes Kevin McCarthy needed to secure his seat dropped from 218 to 216.
The US House of Representatives elected Republican Kevin McCarthy as speaker after 15 rounds of votes this week, ending a four-day deadlock that stalled the lower chamber from doing business as usual.
McCarthy won with 216 votes after hours of talks to rally a Republican majority shortly after midnight on Saturday.
After all six of McCarthy's GOP opponents voted "present", the total votes McCarthy needed to secure his seat dropped from 218 to 216 out of the 435 members of the House.
Republicans hold a 222-212 majority in the House.
McCarthy was defeated by a total of 21 Republicans over the course of 15 ballots before reaching an agreement with the dissenters on House rules and other political issues.
Republicans considered a $75 billion cut to US defense spending as part of the effort to rally support behind McCarthy, although some defense hawks who voted for McCarthy expressed concerns about the proposal, US media reported on Friday.
McCarthy's failure before rise
Earlier, during the 13th vote, AP revealed that McCarthy concluded a deal with several far-right lawmakers, including the conservative Freedom Caucus and other lawmakers, on the condition that he implement certain changes which would reduce the power of the Speaker’s office and give rank-and-file congressmen and women more influence in drafting and passing legislation.
Read next: 7th failed ballot to elect Speaker in US House
I will not be voting for Kevin McCarthy.— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 6, 2023
I resent the extent to which he utilizes the lobbyists and special interests to dictate how political decisions, policy decisions, and leadership decisions are made.
We have zero trust in him. pic.twitter.com/o53UhpDre2