McCarthy Loses 3rd Election Today After MAGA WIng Defects Again

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Struggles to select a new Speaker of the House were continuing Tuesday afternoon, with results from a second balloting still showing House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy short of the votes he would need to take on the role.

It’s not just a majority of Republicans who would need to support Kevin’s bid. It’s a majority across the House as a whole, and the results from the second vote showed House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Congressman, with 212 votes, McCarthy with 203, and Jim Jordan — the perennially loudmouthed Ohio Republican — with 19 votes.

Prominent names among Republicans voting what is now twice against McCarthy’s bid for Speaker include Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert. Others on the list include Paul Gosar, Scott Perry, and Ralph Norman — the last of whom showed up in the Mark Meadows texts weeks after January 6 and just days before Biden’s 2021 inauguration, pushing for the imposition of martial law. Perry also prominently figured in the schemes after the 2020 presidential election to keep Trump in power, pushing Jeffrey Clark — then a supportive official at the Justice Department — to the administration. Trump considered putting Clark in the department’s top spot.

Between the first and second votes for House Speaker, Republicans opposing McCarthy united behind Jordan after Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) received some votes the first time, and not a single member of the group defected. A full 19 Republicans voted against Kevin in the first round, and a total of 19 did the second time as well. One notable name not in the group is Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who angrily ranted to reporters on Tuesday about those like Gaetz and Boebert holding up the process. She was particularly incensed that some in the group opposing Kevin sought special favors in the committee assignment process. “I haven’t asked for one thing for myself, and I’m the only Republican that has zero committees,” as she recapped the situation. “I find out that it’s my Freedom Caucus colleagues and my supposed friends that went and did that, and they asked nothing for me… That’s what I found out in there. I am furious.”

Elsewhere, George Santos — the new Republican Congressman from New York who is now facing a criminal case in Brazil, in addition to local, state, and federal investigations in the U.S. — was kind of wandering around. At one point, a CBS journalist said Santos “walked into a dead end in the basement of the Longworth House Office Bldg while speeding ahead of the press corps.” Whoops. (UPDATE: McCarthy also lost a third vote for Speaker that was also conducted Tuesday. That time, 20 Republicans opposed his bid.)