https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11607419/Kevin-McCarthy-finally-FLIPS-Republican-rebels-twelfth-ballot-defeat.html

Kevin McCarthy says he’ll win TONIGHT as House adjourns until 10pm so two Republicans can FLY in to vote: GOP leader says ‘you’ll be calling me the Comeback Kid’ as he tries to convince just TWO more rebels to flip after 15 switched their votes

  • McCarthy picked up 14 of the 21 votes that were previously cast against him 
  • The GOP leader scored 214 votes – he’ll have at least 216 tonight when two missing Republicans return to Washington 
  • With the two missing members back, he needs 218 to win  

GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters he now has the votes to become Speaker as the House moved to adjourn until 10 p.m. 

‘You’ll be calling me the Comeback Kid,’ the California Republican boasted after losing an unprecedented 13 elections for Speaker. 

Asked how he knew he’d have the votes by the 14th ballot, he snarked: ‘Because I counted.’  

The House GOP delegation is waiting on two members – Rep. Wesley Hunt of Texas and Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado – to return from the birth of a child and a medical appointment respectively. 

Buck and Hunt are expected to return to D.C. just ahead of the vote.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., pumps his fist as he votes for himself a tenth time in the House chamber as the House meets for the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023

The remaining GOP hardliner holdout include (L-R) Rep.-elect Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Rep.-elect Eli Crane (R-AZ), Rep.-elect Matt Rosendale (R-MT), Rep.-elect Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Rep.-elect Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and Rep.-elect Bob Good (R-VA)

The remaining GOP hardliner holdout include (L-R) Rep.-elect Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Rep.-elect Eli Crane (R-AZ), Rep.-elect Matt Rosendale (R-MT), Rep.-elect Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Rep.-elect Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and Rep.-elect Bob Good (R-VA)

Last ones standing – these are the final GOP McCarthy dissenters

• Andy Biggs (AZ)

• Lauren Boebert (CO)

• Eli Crane (AZ)

• Matt Gaetz (FL)

• Bob Good (VA)

• Matt Rosendale (MT)

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The number two Republican in the House, Steve Scalise, told reporters McCarthy ‘very well could’ win the Speaker’s bid tonight. ‘Today was a big breakthrough day. We’re gonna keep talking maybe tonight, we see some improvements.’

On the 13th ballot, one more Republican rebel – Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland – flipped his vote for Speaker to Kevin McCarthy, meaning the GOP leader has scored 15 new votes today while six are still holding out. 

The leeway comes after days of stalemate and crucial negotiations over concessions on Friday morning.

In a startling development, the GOP leader won more votes than he has seen in the last four days of the farce after his party held a conference call to try and strike a deal with the hardliners who have sunk his bid. 

McCarthy managed to score 214 votes in the last round of elections, leaving him short of winning the gavel but tantalizing close to victory.

The rest of the dissenters were split between Rep. Kevin Hern, Oklahoma, chair of the conservative Study Committee and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, both now back McCarthy. 

GOP Rep. Scott Perry, chair of the House Freedom Caucus and a vote-flipper on the 12th ballot, said talks were ongoing to get McCarthy to a majority. 

‘I want to be very clear that we’re still having conversations and we’re still talking to our friends that disagree,’ he told reporters after the vote. ‘We’re going to continue to talk. We’re not done yet.’ 

The rebels flipped after McCarthy made more concessions in the package that includes votes on lawmaker term limits and border security, the motion to vacate the speaker and more roles on House committees.

Rep. Keith Self of Texas switched his vote because he supported the ‘significant’ rules changes that were made overnight. 

‘It has become clear to me that a couple of individuals are simply obstructionists, more interested in self-promotion than restoring the republic,’ he said.  

Democrat Rep. David Trone of Maryland missed the 12th ballot on Friday but was back by the 13th after getting surgery. 

In the first round of voting on Friday, Rep. Matt Gaetz nominated Jordan and tore into McCarthy, causing approximately two dozen furious members of his caucus to stage a walk-out of the House floor. 

Gaetz called McCarthy ‘the Lebron James of special interest fundraising. He said McCarthy’s bid for Speaker was an ‘exercise in vanity’ driven by ‘personal ambition.’

‘That ambition is paralyzing the House now,’ Gaetz said. 

‘You only earn the position of Speaker of the House. If you can get the votes. Mr. McCarthy doesn’t have the votes today. He will not have the votes tomorrow and he will not have the votes next week, next month, next year.’ 

At one point, GOP Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois stood up and started shouting at Gaetz before being quieted by House Clerk Cheryl Johnson.

In a petulant manner, Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana walked out the chamber by beginning his vote with ‘Kevin…’ and pausing before adding ‘Hern!’ followed by groans from the GOP delegation supporting McCarthy.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy reportedly offered the 20 rogue Republicans a list of concessions he would make in exchange for their votes in the speakership race

Rep. Kevin McCarthy reportedly offered the 20 rogue Republicans a list of concessions he would make in exchange for their votes in the speakership race 

Rep. Kevin McCarthy is captured leaving the House chamber Thursday night after losing another round of votes in bid to become next Speaker of the House

Rep. Kevin McCarthy is captured leaving the House chamber Thursday night after losing another round of votes in bid to become next Speaker of the House

Each time a McCarthy dissenter switched their vote on Friday, the rest of the pro-McCarthy faction of the conference stood up and applauded. 

Rep. Tim Burchett, Tennessee earned a standing ovation and cheers when he cast his vote by saying: ‘Based on the fact no one cheers when I speak, and I’ve never been asked to give a nomination speech – but I’m not bitter about it – Kevin McCarthy.’ 

Earlier Friday McCarthy told members of his conference votes could stretch into Saturday, a fifth day, as he presses forward with an agreement with his dissenters. 

Lawmakers appeared exhausted as the House Speaker vote dragged out across a third day

Lawmakers appeared exhausted as the House Speaker vote dragged out across a third day

Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona sits by himself during the tenth vote for Speaker, and fourth vote of Thursday

Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona sits by himself during the tenth vote for Speaker, and fourth vote of Thursday

McCarthy spent much of the third day of votes walking around the chamber speaking to both allies and holdouts (seen speaking with Republican Rep.-elect Cory Mills of Florida)

McCarthy spent much of the third day of votes walking around the chamber speaking to both allies and holdouts (seen speaking with Republican Rep.-elect Cory Mills of Florida)

McCarthy had previously agreed to allow more members of the conservative Freedom Caucus to serve on the House Rules Committee, which dictates what bills make it to the House floor. 

He also agreed that his leadership PAC would stay out of safe primary races, therefore allowing conservatives to challenge more moderate Republicans in red districts. 

GOP Rep. Mike Waltz of Florida told DailyMail.com he has ‘some issues’ with the concessions McCarthy made to the House Rebels, but ‘nothing that can’t be worked out.’ 

He said he absolutely would not support the reported $76 billion cut to Defense spending that was reportedly part of the Freedom Caucus deal McCarthy made. 

No House Speaker vote has gone on this long in modern US political history, and it’s set Republicans’ new majority in the chamber off to a rocky start. 

In 1856, it took former House Speaker Nathaniel Prentice Banks two months and 133 rounds of voting for the House of Representatives to settle on a leader – the longest stretch on record.

Rep.-elect George Santos, right, is seen speaking with fellow Republican Rep.-elect Pat Fallon on the third day of votes

Rep.-elect George Santos, right, is seen speaking with fellow Republican Rep.-elect Pat Fallon on the third day of votes

Firebrand GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia were seen sitting next to each other, despite their public break over McCarthy's Speakership bid

Firebrand GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia were seen sitting next to each other, despite their public break over McCarthy’s Speakership bid

For the seventh round, McCarthy was nominated by Michigan Rep-elect John James

For the seventh round, McCarthy was nominated by Michigan Rep-elect John James

At the US Capitol ahead of the vote on Thursday, McCarthy told reporters, ‘I’m confident we will reach a solution otherwise we won’t be successful.’ 

The historic gridlock has paralyzed Capitol Hill; with no Speaker, the 118th House of Representatives cannot be sworn in, and new legislation cannot move to the floor or through committees – which do not have formal chairs yet.

And on Wednesday, a group of Republican military veterans held a press conference warning that the disarray was leading to significant national security vulnerabilities. 

Florida Rep. Michael Waltz said from the podium, ‘Authoritarian regimes all over the world are pointing to what’s going on in the House of Representatives and saying, ‘Look at the messiness of democracy, look at how it doesn’t work, can’t function.”

MCCARTHY OFFERS FRESH CONCESSIONS TO WIN OVER HARD-RIGHT REPUBLICANS 

IN A STUNNING REVERSAL, THE GOP LEADER IS NOW OPEN TO ONCE ‘RED-LINE’ DEMANDS FROM RIGHT-WING REBELS 

• ONE-MEMBER ‘MOTION TO VACATE’ THE CHAIR 

In a major concession to the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus, the California Republican has offered to lower the number of members required to sponsor a resolution to force a vote to remove the speaker – from five to one – a change that the GOP leader had previously said he would not accept. 

• FREEDOM CAUCUS TO HAVE RULES COMMITTEE SEATS 

McCarthy is open to allowing GOP hardliners to handpick four of the party’s members on the powerful Rules Committee – no small concession as it controls what legislation reaches the floor, as well as allowing ANY lawmaker to propose changes on spending legislation, including any that would tank the measure.

• A VOTE ON TERM LIMITS

There were also discussions of introducing legislation limiting House members to three terms and Senators to two terms. The upper chamber is currently led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York meaning the proposal to limit the Senate is a no-go.

 • REBELS TO CHAIR SUB-COMMITTEE 

Several ‘Never Kevin Caucus’ members want high-profile assignments including Florida’s Matt Gaetz as chair of the House Armed Services subcommittee and Maryland’s Andy Harris as the head of the Appropriations subcommittee on Health and Human Services 

• CHANGES TO APPROPRIATIONS PROCESS

The Freedom Caucus wants rule changes that would decentralize power in both the House GOP – and the rest of the chamber – to give more power to individual members.  The demand that committee chairs are selected by the committee and not the leadership, and rewards fundraising and party loyalty.

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