McCarthy makes gains but still falling short

The changed votes from conservative holdouts, including the chairman of the chamber’s Freedom Caucus, put McCarthy closer to seizing the gavel for the new Congress — but not yet able.

By

National News

January 6, 2023 - 4:12 PM

U.S. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., listens in the House Chamber during the second day of elections for Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 4, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican leader Kevin McCarthy flipped 15 colleagues to support him in dramatic votes for House speaker on Friday, making extraordinary gains on the fourth day and the 12th and 13th ballots of a grueling standoff that was testing American democracy and the Republicans’ ability to govern.

The changed votes from conservative holdouts, including the chairman of the chamber’s Freedom Caucus, put McCarthy closer to seizing the gavel for the new Congress — but not yet able.

The stunning turnaround came after McCarthy agreed to many of the detractors’ demands — including the reinstatement of a longstanding House rule that would allow any single member to call a vote to oust him from office. That change and others mean the job he has fought so hard to gain will be weakened.

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