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Republican Kevin McCarthy wins with score of 216-212 to become new US House speaker

Republican Kevin McCarthy was chosen as the new speaker of the US House of Representatives on Saturday.

By wasmulhaq 
Updated Date

New York: Republican Kevin McCarthy was chosen as the new speaker of the US House of Representatives on Saturday after a historic post-midnight 15th ballot win, after 14 failed rounds of voting.

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McCarthy triumphed with a score of 216-212. Six members of his own party withheld their votes, not supporting McCarthy as leader but also not voting for another candidate, which allowed him to win with the support of less than half of the House members.

McCarthy was unable to get a majority on repeated occasions, which caused the Republicans, who currently possess a razor-thin majority, to become embroiled in infighting. In fact, the contentious 2023 race saw more vote rounds than any speaker election since the Civil War.

Six conservatives who had previously opposed McCarthy’s candidature changed their votes in the 15th round, giving McCarthy the victory. 14 additional Republican holdouts then switched their votes to McCarthy.

Kevin McCarthy, the recently elected Speaker of the US House of Representatives, receives the gavel from minority leader Hakeem Jeffries (R). McCarthy stated, “As speaker of the House, my primary duty is not to my party, my conference, or even our Congress.” McCarthy said. “My responsibility is to our country.”

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The 57-year-old California Republican’s political career has been capped by a hard-fought victory. Over the past ten years, he has steadily risen through the ranks of his party’s House leadership. However, his victory also highlighted the brittleness of his agenda and the significant divisions within his own party.

 

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