FederalU.S. House Adjourns Second Day of Historic Deadlock Over Speaker Vote after Six-Round Stalemate

The showdown between congressional Republicans has left the office of U.S. Speaker of the House vacant for a second day.
January 4, 2023
A historic showdown between 20 Republican congressional members and the leaders of their own party caucus adjourned its second day of deadlock on Wednesday over who will be the next U.S. Speaker of the House, with plans to reconvene at 8:00 p.m. the same evening. 

The 20 lawmakers, including three Texas congressmen, opted to cast their votes during three roll call votes for Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL-19), resulting in Republican House Caucus leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23) failing to garner the necessary support to take the gavel. 

The three Texas holdouts are Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX-21), Michael Cloud (R-TX-27), and Keith Self (R-TX-03). 

Roy started the first round of voting Wednesday with a passionate speech nominating Donalds for the speakership, noting that for the first time in history, two black Americans were nominated for speaker at the same time. That received a full round of applause. 

In nominating Donalds, he asserted that his doing so was because the nation needed leadership that doesn’t reflect “this city,” referencing Washington D.C., and advocated for more robust debate. 

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“We should be in this room with this many people having debates on the issues, like Ukraine,” Roy said. “We should debate the merits (of legislation) … The only way you’re going to get that is if you change the rules, and have the leadership to advance the rules, to make sure that we can do that.”

Roy then went on to say that previous negotiations with McCarthy regarding reforms have been productive, but are not yet where he and the would-be speaker can agree. 

“Now we have had a conversation for the past two months, and we’ve had success in doing that. But we are not there,” Roy said. 

“We are not at the place we need to be to guarantee that we are going to be able to stand up in the face of the swamp that continues to step over the American people on a daily basis, and spend money we don’t have, and continue to leave our borders open, and to continue to fund bureaucrats that are stepping over the freedoms of the American people. Byron, will stand up and do that.” 

All three roll call votes carried the same results during the day, with McCarthy receiving 201 votes, Democratic nominee Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08) receiving 212, and Donalds receiving 20. 

One lawmaker, Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN-05), was the only abstention after having supported McCarthy the previous day. 

The House may reconvene in the evening to resume voting. In the meantime, Republicans will be holding negotiations to break the deadlock and find a consensus. 


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Matt Stringer

Matt Stringer is a reporter for The Texan who writes about all things government, politics, and public policy. He graduated from Odessa College with an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies and a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Leadership. In his free time, you will find him in the great outdoors, usually in the Davis Mountains and Big Bend region of Southwest Texas.