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Battle for Speakership Ends in Tense Late Night House Session

Photo: Jack Gruber / USA TODAY

Washington DC, January 9, 2023 ~ The Freedom Caucus holdouts that had been keeping Kevin McCarthy from the Speakership through 14 votes relented early Saturday morning, though not before their concession demands all but gutted power from the leadership role.

The raucous and at moments tense evening was about to end with a vote to adjourn, when a flurry of action suggested that a deal had been reached and that a 15th vote should commence.

This led to holdouts Matt Gaetz of Florida and Lauren Boebert of Colorado voting “Present,” lowering the threshold of votes needed to 217 and handing the gavel to McCarthy.


January 9, 2023 ~ 760 WJR Senior News Analyst Chris Renwick talks with Kevin and Tom about Speaker Kevin McCarthy saying that his first order of business will be to repeal funding for the new IRS agents.

(CONTINUED)I hope one thing is clear after this week … I will never give up. I will never give up for you, the American people,” said McCarthy during his early morning acceptance speech. “And, I will never give up on keeping our commitment to America.”

The House will reconvene at 5 p.m. today to adopt the rules of the 118th Congress

Photo: Jack Gruber / USA TODAY

Stalemate Over House Speakership Continues in Washington

WASHINGTON DC, January 6, 2023 ~ After three days of failed votes, California Republican Kevin McCarthy appears to have made little progress in gaining the support he needs to become Speaker of the House.

The 20 Freedom Caucus Republicans who have been in opposition remain stalwart in their efforts to negotiate an atmosphere that is more conducive to their far-right leaning agenda.

As the days and votes drag on, centrist conservatives are becoming more and more uncomfortable with the concessions sought by the Freedom Caucus, with fears that modified House rules might unleash an ultra-conservative agenda that won’t be popular with constituents. 


January 6, 2023 ~ WJR Senior News Analyst Lloyd Jackson talks with Paul W. about potential concessions in Kevin McCarthy‘s Speakership bid that could change the rules of the House and open options for the far-right leaning Freedom Caucus. Photo: Jack Gruber / USA TODAY

(CONTINUED) Though reports from negotiations indicate that progress is being made, yesterday’s five consecutive votes showed no changes in results. 

The House is scheduled to reconvene today at noon. It is unclear if additional votes will occur today, or if a motion to adjourn with give more time for agreements to be reached. 

Photo: Jack Gruber / USA TODAY

GOP in Disarray as McCarthy’s Bid to Become Speaker Fails Through Six Votes

WASHINGTON DC, January 5, 2023 ~ The standoff over the House Speakership was extended to a third day late Wednesday after a narrow vote to adjourn gave embattled Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy some valuable time to negotiate with those who continue to deny his certification.

McCarthy spent several hours behind closed doors with his detractors yesterday afternoon in the hopes of negotiating concessions that would sway their votes. Though he emerged optimistic, McCarthy conceded that a seventh vote held that night wasn’t likely to deliver a different outcome. 

The McCarthy team was expected to work well into the night Wednesday, with late word being reported by CNN that “substantive” rules changes and process issues previously demanded by the holdouts are now on the table. 

The House of Representatives returns to session today at noon where a seventh vote to elect a Speaker is expected.


January 5, 2023 ~ Congresswoman Debbie Dingell talks to Paul W. about the upheaval in the US House as the GOP continues to struggle over who should be the next Speaker.

January 5, 2023 ~ Republican Congressman Tim Walberg talks to Paul W. about the controversy surrounding the Speaker of the House votes in Washington DC.

Photo: Jack Gruber / USA TODAY

“Never Kevin” Caucus Holds McCarthy’s Speakership Bid in Peril

WASHINGTON DC, January 4, 2023 ~ The first day of the 118th Congress threw the new GOP House majority into chaos Tuesday after three separate votes failed to elect a new Speaker.

Each vote came up just shy of the needed majority, leaving Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy scrambling to identify a path forward for his long sought-after ascension to the Speakership.


January 4, 2023 ~ The US House adjourned business on Tuesday evening without a new Speaker. Kevin McCarthy failed in a third straight vote for the gavel, the first time that has happened in a century. 760 WJR Senior News Analyst Marie Osborne talks to Paul W. about what will happen next. Photo credit to © Jack Gruber / USA TODAY NETWORK

January 4, 2023 ~ Congresswoman Lisa McClain talks with Kevin and Tom about the challenges surrounding the GOP vote for Speaker of the House.

(CONTINUED) Standing in his way are a small yet determined group of 20 ultra-conservatives, some of whom are holding out to leverage concessions, while five of them assert themselves as “Never Kevin” votes. 

To attain the Speakership, McCarthy must attain 218 votes. Since there are only 122 Republicans in the House, McCarthy can only lose four votes. 

The House was expected to reconvene today for a fourth round of voting, though a proposed motion to adjourn might postpone the vote until Thursday.