Newsman: The house of the United State Congress now has their newly elected speaker. Kevin McCarthy is now officially speaker of the House after a historic post-midnight 15th ballot early Saturday morning. Friday’s voting standoff coincides with the second anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, when supporters of then-President Donald Trump breached the building with the aim of stopping Congress from certifying the 2020 presidential election in favor of Joe Biden.
Members of the 118th Congress were sworn in early Saturday morning after days of deadlock in the House speaker election that prevented them from assuming their roles. Congress sworn into office, House is adjourned until Monday.
Newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy thanked former President Donald Trump for helping him get the votes, telling reporters: “I don’t think anybody should doubt his influence.” McCarthy gave former President Trump credit for victory said,”He was all in”
“He was with me from the beginning — somebody wrote the doubt of whether he was there — and he was all in. He would call me and he would call others. And he really was — I was just talking to him tonight — helping get those final votes.”
The new House speaker also thanked some of the core negotiators by name — Reps. Garret Graves, Patrick McHenry, Bruce Westerman, Scott Perry, Chip Roy and French Hill.
McCarthy said he is “1,000%” confident he will serve out his term, even with the new one-person threshold on the motion to vacate.
The California Republican got victory after a historic 15 rounds of voting on the House floor late Friday night. McCarthy emerged victorious after Republicans Andy Biggs and Eli Crane of Arizona and Bob Good of Virginia voted “present,” which lowered the threshold of support the GOP leader needed to win.
Contours of a deal with conservative holdouts who have been blocking McCarthy’s rise emerged after three dismal days and 11 failed votes in an intraparty standoff unseen in modern times.
It is the first time in a century that an election of a House speaker took multiple ballots to complete. The longest vote in U.S. history took place in 1855, lasting 133 rounds over two months.
Without a speaker, lawmakers can’t form committees, advance legislation or participate in intelligence briefings.
McCarthy had been intense negotiations for days with a small but critical group of far-right conservative lawmakers who made extended demands for concessions that would essentially make it easier to depose a speaker and weaken the powers of the speaker’s office to drive the legislative agenda and assign committee posts.
After McCarthy failed to secure the speakership in a 14th round of voting late Friday night, the House quashed a motion to adjourn until Monday and instead opted to continue voting in a 15th — and ultimately final — round of balloting.
After being newly elected House Speaker, in his first speech McCarthy called on the importance of checks and balances and holding government accountable.
“It’s time for us to be a check and provide some balance to the president’s policies,” he said.
“We commit to stop wasteful Washington spending, to lower the price of groceries, gas, cars, housing, and stop the rising national debt.”
McCarthy also joked to Hakeem Jeffries, who received unanimous support from Democrats: “I’ve got to warn you — two years ago, I got 100% of the vote from my conference.”
McCarthy also committed to Jeffries that “our debates will be passionate and they will never be personal.”
For his part, Minority Leader Jeffries delivered a passionate speech about the accomplishments of the Democratic Party under the Biden administration, including the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act.
“It was one of the most consequential Congresses in American history, President Biden gets the job done, and the ‘d’ in Democrats stands for deliver.”
Jeffries also acknowledged the “iconic, heroic, legendary Speaker Emerita Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi.”
“Without question in my mind, Speaker Emerita Pelosi will go down in history as the greatest speaker of all time,” he said. “Throughout her time in Congress, she’s been a legendary legislator, a fabulous facilitator and a no-nonsense negotiator.”
The new Congress features a record-setting number of women and several history makers, from the House’s first Gen-Z lawmaker to the longest-serving woman in congressional history.
Newly-elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was sworn in before the members, and now Congress can resume business.
Overcoming holdouts from his own ranks and floor tensions boiling over after a chaotic week
McCarthy flipped more than a dozen conservative holdouts to become supporters, including the chairman of the chamber’s Freedom Caucus, leaving him just a few shy of seizing the gavel for the new Congress.
He strode to the back of the chamber to confront Matt Gaetz, sitting with Lauren Boebert and other holdouts. Fingers were pointed, words exchanged and violence apparently just averted.
At one point, Republican Mike Rogers of Alabama started to charge toward Gaetz before another Republican, Richard Hudson, physically pulled him back.
“Stay civil!” someone shouted.
Republicans quickly moved to adjourn, but then McCarthy rushed forward to switch his vote to remain in session as colleagues chanted “One more time!”