After four days of voting in fifteen rounds of voting, Kevin McCarthy was elected Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. The 57-year-old Republican has secured the necessary votes, giving Democrat Nancy Pelosi the lead.
McCarthy faced stiff opposition from 20 conservative Republicans in multiple rounds of voting. The most determined opponents call themselves ‘Never-Kevins’: they say they will never vote for McCarthy. Critics think he is too weak and fear he will do business with the Democrats they hate.
In the final round of voting, McCarthy fell short by one vote, prompting a fierce debate among Republicans, after which another round was decided.
Images of the showdown between Republicans and the moment McCarthy was declared the winner:
Despite arguments and rows among Republicans, McCarthy was elected president
Voting is usually a formality. Not since 1860 has such a round of votes been required. McCarthy says, “My dad used to tell me, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
Many Republicans were eventually converted. They did not vote in favor of McCarthy, but indicated that they were “absent.” The result was ultimately 216 votes for McCarthy and 212 for Democrat Hakeem Jeffries.
McCarthy had to make concessions. There is a 55-page set of pledges. These will be concessions based on participation, and members will have a greater say in the laws being voted on.
They insisted that if McCarthy didn’t like something, only one member of Congress could vote for him, leaving the president in an already weak position in his new office.
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