Kevin McCarthy Elected Next Speaker Of The House
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: U.S. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reacts in the House Chamber during the fourth day of elections for Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2023 in Washington, DC. The House of Representatives is meeting to vote for the next Speaker after House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) failed to earn more than 218 votes on several ballots; the first time in 100 years that the Speaker was not elected on the first ballot.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was elected to become the next Speaker of the House of Representatives late on Friday after a week of drama forced multiple rounds of voting for the first time in a century.

McCarthy won with 216 votes over Rep. Hakeem Jeffries’ (D-NY) 212 votes because six Republican members voted “present,” thus lowering the bar needed for McCarthy to clinch the position.

There were moments of drama during the final couple of rounds of voting, including a moment when Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) was pulled away from getting into a confrontation with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

One of the few holdouts who changed their to “present” so that McCarthy could win was Rep. Matt Rosendale. A photographer captured an image showing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) trying to hand her phone to Rosendale as former President Donald Trump was on the line. Rosendale waved off Greene and refused to take the call.

There were 20 initial Republican holdouts to start the week, including Reps. Dan Bishop (NC), Lauren Boebert (CO), Byron Donalds (FL), Josh Brecheen (OK), Mike Cloud (TX), Andrew Clyde (GA), Eli Crane (AZ), Matt Gaetz (FL), Bob Good (VA), Paul Gosar (AZ), Andy Harris (MD), Anna Paulina Luna (FL), Mary Miller (IL), Ralph Norman (SC), Andy Ogles (TN), Scott Perry (PA), Matt Rosendale (MT), Chip Roy (TX), Keith Self (TX), and Andy Biggs (AZ).

That number was dramatically whittled down on Friday as McCarthy picked off the 14 of the detractors and got them to vote for him.

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