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Déjà Vu: Kevin McCarthy Loses on Sixth Ballot in Two Days

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

After more than four hours of roll call votes on Wednesday, GOP Leader and supposed "Speaker-designate" Kevin McCarthy again lost his bid for Speaker of the House on the sixth ballot in two days. 


After losing on the first, second, and third ballots tallied on Tuesday, the House reconvened Wednesday at noon in order to resume its so-far unsuccessful attempts to elect a speaker to fill the seat for legislative branch's constitutional officer and complete the presidential line of succession. 

But, just as on Tuesday, McCarthy was unable to secure a majority among present members-elect of the House through three rounds on Wednesday. Florida Republican Rep. Byron Donalds became the alternative GOP candidate to McCarthy, and the same 20 members of the House who'd voted for candidates other than McCarthy on Tuesday backed Donalds' bid to lead the House. 

When the sixth ballot was tallied, McCarthy had 201 votes to Hakeem Jeffries' 212 and Donalds' 20 while one member of the House — Rep. Victoria Spartz — voted present. 

That math was identical to the fourth and fifth ballots and nearly the same as the outcome from the first three ballots on Tuesday. 

That is, the race for speaker is deadlocked in a stalemate. Repeated round of balloting have not yielded more support for McCarthy. The opposite, in fact, has been true. Adjourning from Tuesday evening to Wednesday afternoon did not see McCarthy use the time to successfully convince holdouts to vote for him. 


That said, there were rumblings as the sixth ballot wrapped up that Democrats were amenable to Republicans' ask that the House again adjourn in order to hold a GOP Conference meeting to circle the wagons and see what else can be done. Sure enough, following the official tally announcement the House adjourned until 8:00 p.m. ET Wednesday. 

Chip Roy, one of the stalwart opponents to McCarthy's speakership, suggested that talks between McCarthy's backers and those blocking his years-long quest to become speaker were proving more fruitful on Wednesday afternoon.

Whatever happens during over the nearly four-hour adjournment, there will have to be at least a seventh round before the House will have a speaker.  

This is a developing story and may be updated. 

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