Last Updated on January 4, 2023
U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) again came up short in his quest to regain his position as House Speaker after a fifth ballot on Wednesday afternoon. Like the fourth ballot, the following ballot contained another defector from team McCarthy after U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN) again voted present. Though Spartz has stated that she still supports McCarthy for Speaker, she believes that it is clear that the GOP caucus cannot come to a consensus candidate at present and should recess until that changes.
Spartz became the second McCarthy voter to break ranks on the fourth ballot after U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds(R-FL) changed course and voted for Jim Jordan (R-OH) on ballot three.
The Indiana congresswoman told reporters that while she still supports McCarthy, she opted to vote present rather than cast a “no” vote. “I didn’t want to vote against Kevin, so I told him that I’ll vote present so we can have a deliberation,” she said.
Victoria Spartz, a past McCarthy supporter who voted ‘present’ on the fourth ballot, told us she did so because she wanted to allow for more negotiations within the conference to address the concerns of the 20 members. She gave McCarthy a headsup ahead of time pic.twitter.com/LiE6OjbFVX
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 4, 2023
On ballot four, Mr. Donalds himself was nominated for the Speaker position by U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), who previously cast a lone vote for him on the first ballot.
Bailout four differed from the preceding vote only in that Spartz opted to vote “present” rather than back McCarthy. She again voted “present” on ballot five, albeit late after not being present in the chamber when her name was called.
After five failed Speaker votes — the first since 1923 — McCarthy’s chances of becoming Speaker have all but evaporated. Now, California congressman is reportedly considering a deal with the Democrats on a “consensus” candidate, per The Hill.