January 5, 2023 GOP deadlocked over House speaker vote

By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Maureen Chowdhury and Elise Hammond, CNN

Updated 9:41 a.m. ET, January 6, 2023
38 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
1:42 p.m. ET, January 5, 2023

McCarthy allies drawing a line over giving committee gavels to opposition lawmakers

From CNN's Melanie Zanona

While Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s allies are willing to swallow most of the concessions being made in the Republican leader's quest for speaker, they are drawing a line in the sand over one issue: committee gavels for the holdouts.  

Committee and subcommittee gavels have been part of the ongoing negotiations, sources tell CNN.

But two Republicans, who both serve on the panel responsible for awarding committee assignments and gavels, predicted that the conference would reject that sort of deal — not only because there’s so much resentment toward these holdouts, but also because it would be unfair to jump someone else in line for a coveted gavel.    

The GOP Steering Committee, which includes members of the leadership, elects committee chairs and panel assignments. The speaker’s vote in those decisions counts for more weight than others on the panel.  

After steering makes its selection, the full conference must approve it. Traditionally, the conference accepts whatever steering decides. But these two Republicans predicted there would be rare push back if McCarthy advocated for one of the critics to get a chairmanship. 

As CNN previously reported, Rep. Matt Gaetz demanded a subcommittee gavel on the House Armed Services Committee. McCarthy rejected that — Gaetz is “Never Kevin” anyway — but there are other gavels in the mix.

1:44 p.m. ET, January 5, 2023

Holdouts refuse to commit to McCarthy while leaving key meeting

From CNN's Manu Raju, Melanie Zanona and Andrew Millman

US Rep. Scott Perry talks to reporters after leaving the House chamber on Thursday.
US Rep. Scott Perry talks to reporters after leaving the House chamber on Thursday. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

While leaving a pivotal meeting in GOP Rep. Tom Emmer’s office, Rep. Chip Roy refused to say if he’s willing to back Kevin McCarthy — as did Rep. Byron Donalds and others.

Donalds would not say if he would eventually drop out.

Rep. Scott Perry said he needed more changes.

“But none of these changes would be on the table if the slim majority didnt exist so we have to take this opportunity to make the changes necessary to make Congress work for the American people,” Perry said. 

The meeting is ongoing.

Perry also tweeted and told Fox News that there is still no deal.

“There is no agreement whatsoever and it’s disappointing that confidences are betrayed about the details of internal meetings, and it exemplifies Washington, DC, and the trust factor that is causing the impasse that is occurring right before your eyes,” Perry said.

“There’s a trust issue with the gentleman who wants to be speaker,” Perry said, adding “it is hard to restore trust in just a month or two” and “there is no agreement at this time.”

When asked about alternative candidates, Perry said, “whoever can get 218. If Kevin McCarthy will embrace these changes, I suspect he will get to 218 but if he will not, then he can’t.”

Perry said “it would be unfaithful of me” to discuss ongoing negotiations when asked about details of the dealmaking. 

“We don’t want our speaker to be working with Democrats,” Perry replied when asked about Democratic Rep.-elect Brad Sherman’s claim that moderate Republicans would have to work with Democrats to govern, continuing “as long as our speaker is true to what we believe in as Republicans across the board, we’re going to be in fine shape.” He described a Republican speaker seeking Democratic votes on issues such as government funding would be an “act of combat.”

1:18 p.m. ET, January 5, 2023

Another moderate GOP lawmaker says centrists are growing "increasingly frustrated"

From CNN's Dana Bash

A moderate House GOP lawmaker told CNN about the "increasing frustration" among centrists at the number of concessions unfolding as the House speaker stalemate continues.

“Centrists growing increasingly frustrated at bending the knee to a handful who never wanted to be in the majority in the first place,” this lawmaker said.

Asked if the moderates/centrists can stomach this rules package if Kevin McCarthy gets his wish, the lawmaker said, “Depends what else is in it. I think as it is now, it’ll pass. But … if they get a single gavel as part of whatever deal is struck, it will all unravel.”

1:27 p.m. ET, January 5, 2023

Key things to know about Byron Donalds, the hard-right’s nominee for speaker

From CNN's Jack Forrest

US Rep. Byron Donalds speaks to reporters on the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday.
US Rep. Byron Donalds speaks to reporters on the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday. (Jon Cherry/Reuters)

Rep. Byron Donalds from Florida was once again nominated for House speaker as the floor fight over the gavel continues Thursday.

Donalds voted for McCarthy on the first two ballots, but broke from the majority of his colleagues to vote for Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio on the third ballot with conservative hardliners.

“Right now, he doesn’t have a pathway to get there,” Donalds told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins after voting against McCarthy Tuesday. “If that reemerges, yeah, I can be there, that’s fine, but what’s necessary now is that Republicans come together and find a way to elect a speaker.”

Donalds is serving his second term, winning his first election in 2020 after GOP Rep. Francis Rooney vacated Florida’s 19th Congressional District seat, and his second in 2022 in a landslide victory.

During his first campaign, Donalds described himself in a political ad as a “Trump-supporting, gun-owning, liberty-loving, pro-life, politically incorrect Black man.”

In the same political ad, Donalds describes being arrested as a young man for drug possession and deciding to get his life together “through the grace of God.”

Donalds was raised in Brooklyn, New York, by a “single mom with three kids, two jobs and not much else,” he said. “Thanks to my mom and her influence, what could have been the end of my road was just the beginning.”

Both Reps. Chip Roy and Scott Perry, who nominated Donalds on the sixth ballot, referred to Donalds overcoming “adversity” and “humble beginnings” to get to the House floor, mentioning his upbringing.

The Florida State University graduate worked in the banking, finance and insurance industries before being elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2016, according to his office.

Donalds, 44, lives in Naples, Florida, with his wife and three sons.

12:58 p.m. ET, January 5, 2023

Bishop defends Byron Donalds over Cori Bush's "prop" criticism

From CNN's Clare Foran

When GOP Rep. Dan Bishop rose to nominate Rep. Byron Donalds ahead of the seventh round, he called out Democratic Rep. Cori Bush, though he did not name her explicitly, for a tweet she sent yesterday saying that Donalds is a “prop.”

“I’ve spent a good bit of time with Mr. Donalds, especially lately — he ain’t no prop,” Bishop said.

Bush tweeted Wednesday: “FWIW, @ByronDonalds is not a historic candidate for Speaker. He is a prop. Despite being Black, he supports a policy agenda intent on upholding and perpetuating white supremacy. His name being in the mix is not progress—it’s pathetic.” 

Donalds responded: “FWIW, nobody asked @CoriBush her opinion on the matter. Before you judge my agenda, let's have a debate over the policies and the outcomes. Until then, don't be a crab in a barrel!”

1:10 p.m. ET, January 5, 2023

Gaetz votes for Trump in House speakership election

US Rep. Matt Gaetz sits with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in the House chamber on Thursday.
US Rep. Matt Gaetz sits with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in the House chamber on Thursday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Rep. Matt Gaetz voted for former President Donald Trump in the speakership election.

There’s no rule that the speaker is a House member. Members can vote for anyone, and they can protest by skipping the vote or voting “present.” 

Gaetz has been one of the Republican lawmakers who have not voted for party leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy.

12:46 p.m. ET, January 5, 2023

McCarthy appears to suffer defeat in 7th round of voting for House speakership

Kevin McCarthy sits inside the House chamber on Thursday.
Kevin McCarthy sits inside the House chamber on Thursday. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

GOP leader Kevin McCarthy appears to have suffered defeat for the House speakership for a seventh time.

McCarthy can only afford to lose four Republican votes with the party's narrow majority.

In the last few rounds of votes, a group of 20 Republicans have opposed his bid for speakership.

Why CNN says “appears to” suffer a defeat before the gavel goes down: Members-elect have the ability to change their votes before the vote is gaveled over. CNN is following along and tallying the voice votes as they happen, but it's important to be clear that anything could technically change before the vote ends. 

12:34 p.m. ET, January 5, 2023

NOW: Voting on a 7th speaker ballot has started

The House is now voting for a seventh time in an effort to elect a speaker.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, even with the support of most of his party, has failed to reach a majority needed to win the speakership.

1:05 p.m. ET, January 5, 2023

Biden is still closely watching the House, he says

From CNN's Betsy Klein

President Joe Biden turns to Vice President Kamala Harris as he responds to a reporter's question about the House speakership on Thursday.
President Joe Biden turns to Vice President Kamala Harris as he responds to a reporter's question about the House speakership on Thursday. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

President Joe Biden indicated he is still closely monitoring the House speaker’s race as a third day of voting kicked off Thursday.  

“I’m following it with great... how can I say it?” Biden said in response to a question from CNN’s Jeremy Diamond. 

“Attention,” Vice President Kamala Harris abruptly concluded.

The president and vice president then exited the Roosevelt Room. 

Those comments come after Biden harshly criticized House Republicans on Wednesday, saying thrice that the dramatic situation was “embarrassing” and invoking the events of Jan. 6 as he warned the world is watching.