GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy was the biggest loser on Tuesday, unable to secure enough of his own caucus to reach the 218 mark for electing a House Speaker, and in fact he was nowhere close, with a good 20 defectors.
The House voted Wednesday to adjourn for the second time of the day — as Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said he wanted more time to negotiate after six rounds of voting on the speakership resulted in deadlock. It will resume at 12 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Driving the news: “I think it's probably best to let people work through some more. I don't think a vote tonight does any difference but votes in the future will," McCarthy said before the second vote to adjourn.He lost three speaker election bids on Tuesday and three more on Wednesday.
Why it matters: It's the first time since 1923 that the speaker vote has required multiple ballots and it's unclear when — or how — lawmakers will eventually break the deadlock.
The latest: The California Republican's latest defeats came hours after former President Trump urged Republicans to back him — and with his colleagues voting instead for Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) multiple times.20 Republicans voted for Donalds during each round Wednesday. Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.), who voted for McCarthy three times on Tuesday, voted present Wednesday.
Republicans started looking for other options this afternoon. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) — who backed McCarthy over six ballots — told CNN: "He either needs to make a deal to bring the 19 or 20 over, or he needs to step aside and give somebody a chance to do that." Other Republicans are waiting in the wings as they struggle with this same calculus, GOP lawmakers and aides tell Axios.
Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) on Wednesday said “preliminary talks” had begun with Democrats about supporting a “consensus candidate” for Speaker.
Bacon told CNN, however, he wanted to hold back on the details of the conversations so as to not get ahead of the negotiations.
“There are preliminary talks, but we don’t want to go too fast on this because that then hijacks what Kevin is trying to do, and we want to support Kevin, he’s worked hard to get this,” Bacon said.