Headline RoundupJanuary 7th, 2023

Kevin McCarthy Wins Speaker of the House After Fifteen Votes

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was elected Speaker of the House after five days of deadlock in the House of Representatives.

Key Quote: In his victory speech, McCarthy said, “as Speaker of the House, my ultimate responsibility is not to my party, my conference, or even our Congress. My responsibility – our responsibility – is to our country. Two months ago, you voted for a new direction for our country. You embraced our Commitment to America. And now, we are going to keep our commitment to you."

For Context: Of the 20 Republican representatives who withheld support for McCarthy during the voting process, 15 flipped sides and voted for McCarthy on Friday. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Lauren Boebert (R-CO.), Andy Biggs (R-AZ.), Bob Good (R-VA.), Matt Rosendale (R-MT) and Eli Crane (R-AZ) voted ‘present’ on the final ballot instead of voting for a rival candidate. This lowered the needed threshold to win the majority vote.

Historic Delay: With the Speaker vote requiring fifteen ballots to achieve a conclusion, it is the longest in America’s post-Civil War era. In 1856, it took Rep. Nathaniel Banks 133 rounds of voting to secure the position. It has also been a century since the Speaker vote required more than one round of voting.

How The Media Covered It: The conclusion of the prolonged Speaker vote dominated headlines on Saturday. Axios called the vote a “historic battle” that could “preview a new era of divided government.” CNN called the negotiations “painstaking.” Fox News called it "dramatic."


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