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GOP holdout Rosendale helped tank McCarthy during 14th round: Report

Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., casts his vote for Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., during the seventh round of voting on the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Alex Brandon/AP

GOP holdout Rosendale helped tank McCarthy during 14th round: Report

Ryan King

January 07, 12:01 AM January 07, 12:16 AM

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Aspiring speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) may have Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) to thank for his failure to end the speaker chaos during the 14th round of voting Friday.

Rosendale was one of four Republicans who again voted against McCarthy during the 10 p.m. vote Friday, but some Republicans were optimistic that he was going to vote present. However, he ultimately voted for Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) as the understanding collapsed.

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“When we come back tonight, we’ll have the votes to get this done once and for all,” McCarthy told reporters prior to the vote.

McCarthy was just one vote shy of ending the nearly weeklong standstill that has consumed the lower chamber. He managed to garner present votes from Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO), bringing the vote total for him to 216, with four Republicans against and 212 Democrats in favor of incoming Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). He needed 217.

After the vote failed, the House erupted in chaos when Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) nearly came to blows with Gaetz over frustrations with his colleague from Florida.

Around that time, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) was spotted motioning over to Rosendale with her phone, seemingly trying to persuade him to switch his vote. Some observers in the chambers reported that she claimed to have former President Donald Trump on the line. He has backed McCarthy for the speakership.

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Rosendale was reportedly aghast at her for putting him on the spot.

Greene, for her part, subsequently tweeted the same image, calling it the “perfect phone call.”

The speaker gavel saga is now the longest election of its kind since 1859. The last time a speaker race lasted more than one round was in 1923. McCarthy has made concessions to holdouts, including on congressional rules, and vowed not to retaliate against defectors.

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