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First House vote for speaker ends in stalemate

Kevin McCarthy

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday failed to secure the necessary 218 votes to be the next House speaker, the first time in nearly a century that the majority’s nominee needed another vote.

Reps. McCarthy, R-Calif., Andy Biggs, R-Arizona, and Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., split most of the votes three ways. None of the nominees was able to reach the 218 vote threshold needed to secure a majority of votes, so the election will move to a second ballot.

With Republicans divided, Jeffries was on pace to lead the first round of voting, though he remained short of a majority.

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With 434 votes cast, Jeffries received 212, McCarthy received 203, Biggs received 10, and Reps. Jim Jordan, Jim Banks, and Lee Zeldin each received one vote.

McCarthy won a standing ovation from most Republicans on the House floor Tuesday as he was introduced by Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who nominated him to be the next House speaker.

In the meantime, Democrats nominated Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and boasted that they were “united” in their support for the minority candidate.

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