January 4, 2023 GOP deadlocked over House speaker vote

By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Maureen Chowdhury, Elise Hammond and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 9:59 p.m. ET, January 4, 2023
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5:30 p.m. ET, January 4, 2023

Pelosi says she was told no swearing-in members without a speaker

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that she was told today there could not be ceremonial swearing-ins without a speaker. 

This morning Pelosi had advocated for some sort of swearing-in as family members and others are in Washington for the first day of the new Congress. 

“We had to have a speaker in order to do that,” Pelosi said, “we pursued that, they said you have to have an absolute speaker.”

9:52 p.m. ET, January 4, 2023

McCarthy says he's sitting down to talk to others –but he remains confident he'll get to 218 votes

From CNN's Jessica Dean and Manu Raju

Rep. Kevin McCarthy talks to reporters as he walks to his office after the House adjourned until later this evening.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy talks to reporters as he walks to his office after the House adjourned until later this evening. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

Leaving the floor after his sixth failed bid to become speaker, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy told CNN he and others would now sit down and talk.  

Asked if he would get to 218 votes at 8 p.m. ET when the House reconvenes, he said, “ We will get to 218, we’ll solve our problems and we will all work together.”

Asked why he remains confident, McCarthy said:

“You see the number of votes. We have 90% of the votes. I’ve never seen a body where 10% is going to control the 90%. It just doesn’t happen.” 

Still, the minority of votes against him have so far foiled his path to the gavel.

5:14 p.m. ET, January 4, 2023

Group of Republicans meeting in Emmer’s office right now

From CNN's Ted Barrett and Kit Maher

A group of Republicans are meeting in Rep. Tom Emmer’s office following Kevin McCarthy’s failure to clinch speaker for the sixth time.

The group includes Rep. Scott Perry, Rep. Chip Roy, Rep. Matt Gaetz, Rep. Lauren Boebert, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, Rep. Byron Donalds, Rep. Jim Jordan and Rep. Thomas Massie.

It’s possible others were already inside when CNN arrived at the door. 

“Of course, we’re going to get to 218. We just gotta find the right person,” Roy said as he walked into Emmer’s office moments ago. 

Perry said the purpose of the meeting was to “hear what’s being offered” and Gaetz pledged that the McCarthy dissenters could continue to hold votes “until the cherry blossoms fall off the trees.” 

Luna just left the office and shortly after Emmer walked in.

4:59 p.m. ET, January 4, 2023

6 votes and still no speaker: Catch up on what has happened in the House so far today

From CNN staff

The House is still in a holding pattern after lawmakers failed to elect a new speaker for the second day. Rep. Kevin McCarthy has failed to get a majority of the vote after six ballots. 

Right now, the chamber is adjourned until 8 p.m. ET.

Some lawmakers are warning that the longer the process drags on, the more votes McCarthy will lose. McCarthy’s allies have been negotiating on the House floor in between votes to try to garner more support.

This is how the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds of voting played out:

  • 212 for Jeffries
  • 201 for McCarthy
  • 20 for Donalds
  • 1 present vote

Here's what else to know:

  • McCarthy’s roadblock: Twenty Republican lawmakers, despite obtaining most of their demands from McCarthy, simply will not support him. The first two votes started with 19 holdouts but grew to 20 in the third vote Tuesday. In the fourth, fifth and sixth votes Wednesday, those lawmakers all voted for Rep. Byron Donalds who was nominated by the opposition.
  • Warnings: Some of McCarthy’s allies may not be there with him if this drags out. While he has firm support from most of the conference, some are not committed to sticking with him. In the fifth round of voting, while nominating Donalds, Rep. Lauren Boebert called for McCarthy to drop out, saying, “Sir, you do not have the votes, and it’s time to withdraw.” Other lawmakers, like Rep. Ken Buck, said McCarthy will need to “cut a deal” or give others a chance to see if they can get more votes.
  • Lower majority threshold: During the three rounds of voting Wednesday, GOP Rep. Victoria Spartz voted present, meaning she abstained from voting. This dropped the majority threshold McCarthy needed to 217 — but her vote is not a good sign. Spartz backed McCarthy in previous rounds of voting that took place on Tuesday.
  • The scene in between votes: McCarthy's allies have been seen trying to negotiate with some of the 20 GOP lawmakers who oppose McCarthy. These conversations on the floor show how Republicans are grasping to make deals and get unified behind a speaker. GOP Rep. Chip Roy told CNN these talks have been “productive.”
  • Negotiations moving forward: Republicans are considering appointing four members from the pro- and anti-McCarthy camps to negotiate a path forward on choosing a House speaker, one GOP source tells CNN. 
  • The other side of the aisle: Democrats have stayed unified behind party leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. Meantime, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the Biden administration is “going to let the process play out” as Republicans continue to debate over who will serve as House speaker. Biden did call the ongoing standoff “embarrassing” for the country.
  • A historic floor fight: This is the first time in 100 years that a speaker wasn’t elected on the first ballot. It took nine ballots for Rep. Frederick Gillett of Massachusetts to be elected speaker in 1923. In 1849, the House had been in session so long without being able to elect a speaker – 19 days – that members voted to elect their speaker with a plurality rather than a majority. Members ultimately confirmed the plurality election with a majority vote.
  • The consequences: Every new Congress must pass a new set of House rules, so without a speaker to oversee the adoption of those rules, none will technically exist. Without an approved House rules package by the end of business on Jan. 13, committees won't be able to pay staff, according to a letter sent last week by the committee in charge of administrative matters, which was first reported by Politico and obtained by CNN.
5:00 p.m. ET, January 4, 2023

GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher said the 20 votes in opposition to McCarthy fall in these 2 categories

From CNN's Annie Grayer

GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher told CNN that he now views the 20 Republican lawmakers who voted against Rep. Kevin McCarthy as broken into two categories after speaking with them for hours on the floor today: some who want rule changes and some who just don't like McCarthy.

"If it's the latter, it's not as constructive because it shouldn't be about the personality it should be about the process, but I don't know. I have no sense of how many are in either camp," he told CNN. 

For those who want changes to the rules Gallagher said "they want people on the rules committee so that they can enforce the rules changes."

But he said giving into that would be "chaos" because then each group would want say over how they are placed on committees.

"If you're demanding that in order to get your vote, the speaker needs to put X number of people on the Rules Committee, well, then everyone else is gonna want ‘Oh, and I want you know, the moderates want four people on that committee,'" he said.

"You can't run the House that way," Gallagher added.

4:45 p.m. ET, January 4, 2023

The House adjourns for a few hours with no resolution for speaker

The House has voted to adjourn until 8 p.m. ET Wednesday.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy has now failed to receive a majority of the vote six times. The House cannot move forward with business until a speaker is elected.

Watch:

4:45 p.m. ET, January 4, 2023

These are the House Republicans who voted against McCarthy for speaker on the 6th ballot

Twenty Republicans voted against Rep. Kevin McCarthy in the sixth round of voting for House speakership.

These are the lawmakers who voted for Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida instead:

  1. Rep. Andy Biggs
  2. Rep. Dan Bishop
  3. Rep. Lauren Boebert
  4. Rep. Josh Brecheen
  5. Rep. Michael Cloud
  6. Rep. Andrew Clyde
  7. Rep. Eli Crane
  8. Rep. Byron Donalds
  9. Rep. Matt Gaetz
  10. Rep. Bob Good
  11. Rep. Paul Gosar
  12. Rep. Andy Harris
  13. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna
  14. Rep. Mary Miller
  15. Rep. Ralph Norman
  16. Rep. Andy Ogles
  17. Rep. Scott Perry
  18. Rep. Matt Rosendale
  19. Rep. Chip Roy
  20. Rep. Keith Self

Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana voted present for the third consecutive time, making the speakership threshold 217.

4:34 p.m. ET, January 4, 2023

McCarthy fails to secure speakership in 6th ballot

From Annie Grayer, Kristin Wilson, Clare Foran and Jessica Dean

Kevin McCarthy listens in the House chamber on Wednesday.
Kevin McCarthy listens in the House chamber on Wednesday. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Rep. Kevin McCarthy has failed in his sixth attempt to secure the speaker’s gavel, with 20 Republicans voting together once again for Florida Rep. Byron Donalds.

Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana voted present once again making the speakership threshold 217.

Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries had the unanimous support of his caucus.

The final tally was:

  • 212 for Jeffries
  • 201 for McCarthy
  • 20 for Donalds
  • 1 present vote

This was the same tally as the previous two votes.

4:25 p.m. ET, January 4, 2023

House Republicans discussing 4-member negotiating teams to work through impasse, source says 

From CNN's Manu Raju and Kate Sullivan

Republicans are considering appointing four members each from the pro-Rep. Kevin McCarthy and anti-McCarthy camps to negotiate a path forward on choosing a House speaker, one GOP source tells CNN. 

One Democratic lawmaker also tells CNN they overheard Rep. Jim Jordan tell members huddled on the House floor that McCarthy wants each side to appoint four members to negotiate after this sixth round of voting for House speaker.

The huddle came after McCarthy lost a fifth bid to secure the speakership, as a group of 20 Republicans remain opposed to the California Republican for the top position. 

Watch: