Following the historic ousting of California Representative Kevin McCarthy from the position of Speaker of the House, U.S. representatives convened on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday in an attempt to elect a new Speaker. To elect a new Speaker of the House, one must receive a majority vote from all present representatives who are voting. Currently, there are 433 members and two vacancies, which means that a nominee must acquire 217 votes to head the gavel if all representatives are present. The House will continue to vote as many times necessary until a Speaker is chosen.
When the first round of voting concluded on Tuesday, Republican nominee representative of Ohio Jim Jordan secured 200 Republican votes – 17 less than what is needed to head the gavel. Meanwhile, Democrat nominee Representative of New York Hakeem Jefferies secured all 212 Democrat votes, only five less than what is needed to be elected for the gavel. Twenty votes were distributed to other nominees.
The House of Representatives reconvened on Wednesday and Friday for a second and third round of voting. When the second ballot concluded, Jefferies retained all 212 Democrat votes, whilst Jordan lost a vote, ending with 199 votes. Twenty-two votes went to other candidates. However, the third ballot ended with Jefferies holding on firmly to 210 votes, losing two votes as two democrats were not present. Jordan, on the other hand, lost another five votes, now resting at 194 votes. Twenty-five votes went to other candidates.
When it comes to how many rounds of voting will be needed, it is anyone’s guess. Last year, it took 15 rounds of voting before McCarthy was elected, though many doubt it will take that long this time. However, others fear that the House will remain in limbo as the Republican majority continues falling down the rabbit hole of fragmented dysfunction. The House briefly convened again on Thursday, though the third voting session was called off.
Now, uncertainty plagues the House of Representatives as the Republican party continues to splinter. Many fear that the state of the House will perpetuate until the mid-November deadline for Congress to approve funding, lest the federal government be shut down.