1 of 7 | Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R), R-Calif., fell short of the votes needed to be elected speaker of the House on the first three ballots on Tuesday, forcing a fourth ballot for the first time in a century, while Rep. Jim Jordan (L), R-Ohio, picked up 20 votes in opposition to McCarthy during the third round of voting, which is adjourned until Wednesday. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., fell short of the votes needed to be elected speaker of the House on the first three ballots on Tuesday, after which the House to adjourn in advance of further voting the next day.
Representatives officially adjourned for the day at 5:27 p.m. EST and will resume voting after noon Wednesday, marking the first time in 100 years a speaker has not been elected on the first ballot.
A total of 20 Republican colleagues opposed McCarthy during the third vote, which wrapped up shortly before 5 p.m., an increase from 19 during the second vote.
McCarthy, 57, collected 202 votes on the third ballot, one less than during the second round. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio received 20 votes cast with the aim of denying McCarthy's bid for the position. Jordan collected 19 votes in the second round.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., collected 212 votes from Democrats. No other votes were cast.
This is the first time since 1923 that the House did not elect a speaker on the first vote.
McCarthy received 203 votes on the first ballot, while Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs received 10 votes and nine others also received votes.
The body began to take roll shortly after noon as lawmakers took part in opening prayer and reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, a quorum call.
Members vote "viva voce," meaning they stand when their names are called by a reading clerk and verbally announce who they are voting for. Members can vote for anyone (even people who are not members of the House), vote present, or not vote at all.
One of those who defected, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz had said that he would support Jordan for speaker instead.
"I'm not voting for Kevin McCarthy for speaker because he's just a shill of The Establishment," Gaetz told the Daily Caller in a recent interview.
However, Jordan himself has said that he supports McCarthy for speaker.
Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry also refused to support McCarthy.
"Nothing changes when nothing changes, and that must start from the top," Perry tweeted Sunday. "Time to make the change or get out of the way."
In an effort to gain the votes necessary, McCarthy had announced several concessions in a proposed House rules package, including changes to how the speaker could be removed. The concessions would allow any five Republican party members to call for the speaker's removal at any time, rather than a threshold of more than half of the House GOP conference that Republicans adopted in an internal rule in November.
"I will use my selections on key panels to ensure they more closely reflect the ideological makeup of our conference, and will advocate for the same when it comes to the membership of standing committees," McCarthy said in a letter to GOP colleagues on Sunday. "This will facilitate greater scrutiny of bills from the start so they stand a greater chance of passing in the end."
Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington, was elected Tuesday as President Pro Tempore of the Senate, which puts her third in line of presidential succession after the vice president and speaker of the House. The position is typically occupied by the senior most member of the majority party, but California Senator Dianne Feinstein passed on the job.
Also on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell celebrated becoming the longest serving party leader - of either party - in Senate history on Tuesday.
"The greatest honor of my career is representing the Commonwealth of Kentucky in this chamber and fighting for my fellow Kentuckians," McConnell said in remarks on the Senate floor, as he begins his 9th Congress. "But the second-greatest honor is the trust that my fellow Republican senators have placed in me to lead our diverse conference and help them achieve their goals."
The 118th Congress convenes at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on January 3, 2023. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo