Members of Congress are reconvening for a 10 p.m. vote as Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) makes a 14th attempt at securing the speaker’s gavel after losing 14 in a row.
During the 12th round of voting, he managed to peel off 13 of the 20 Republican holdouts, with a 14th, Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) being peeled off in the 13th round. McCarthy can only afford to lose four Republicans.
Despite the 13 chastening defeats, McCarthy struck an optimistic tune on Friday afternoon, telling reporters he is convinced that “when we come back tonight, we’ll have the votes to get this done once and for all.”
‘WE’LL HAVE THE VOTES’: KEVIN MCCARTHY SAYS HE WILL BE ELECTED SPEAKER TONIGHT
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 rebels, including on congressional rules, and vowed not to retaliate against defectors.
Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) and Rep.-elect Wesley Hunt (R-TX), who were absent earlier in the day, are reportedly expected to return to the late-night vote. If the full body is present, McCarthy will need 218 votes to become speaker.