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Kevin McCarthy faces long battle for House speaker

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Kevin McCarthy failed to become speaker of the House after three rounds of voting. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images
Kevin McCarthy failed to become speaker of the House after three rounds of voting. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The House adjourned until noon today as McCarthy became the first candidate for speaker in 100 years to fail to win the first vote. Plus, the truth behind the 10 biggest health beliefs

Good morning.

In what is being described as “the most humiliating day of his political career,” House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is in a long race to secure the speaker’s gavel after failing to win the first three votes on the opening day of the new session. are in The fight is on. Congress tomorrow.

A fourth vote — and perhaps more, overnight — was avoided when the House adjourned until this afternoon, by voice vote. In the first two ballots to decide the next speaker, 19 Republicans opposed McCarthy, leaving him 15 votes short of the 218 votes needed to win. In the third vote, McCarthy lost another supporter, raising concerns that he would fail to unify his caucus.

In another disappointing sign for the new Republican majority, Democrat Hakeem Jefferies received more votes than McCarthy on the first three ballots.

McCarthy is the first candidate for speaker in 100 years to fail to win the first vote for the gavel. He had acknowledged that he was unlikely to win on the first ballot, setting the stage for a potentially lengthy delay before new members of the House were sworn in.

Why do some Republicans oppose McCarthy? 

The Republican opposition to McCarthy has been led by members of the House Freedom Caucus, a hard-right group that has pushed for changes to chamber rules. Scott Perry, the Freedom Caucus chair, reiterated his opposition yesterday and accused McCarthy of failing to work in good faith with his group. “At nearly every turn, we’ve been sidelined or resisted by McCarthy,” Perry said.

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