Political stalemate in House ends with McCarthy’s Victory


Quick PS

The four-day stalemate in the House of Representatives ended in success for the Republican candidate.

Joseph Pollard, Staff Writer

On January 3, the House of Representatives began the process of electing the next Speaker of the House. The candidate who wins the election will succeed the outgoing speaker of the 117th Congress, Nancy Pelosi, and will be the next leader to supervise the House’s operations and practices.

When electing a new Speaker, representatives from the House hold a vote to elect the candidate they see best fit. A candidate wins by securing at least 218 votes (in a full house). Representatives can also vote “present,” which serves as a neutral stance.

In the vote for House Speaker, the two major candidates were Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). However, the U.S. Congress remained in a deadlock which lasted for four days. Democratic Representatives remained united in their support for Jeffries, but support for McCarthy faced disruption in the Republican party.

Although the majority of Republicans backed Representative McCarthy, other members have spoken out and voted for alternative candidates. For the first eleven votes, Democratic Representative Jeffries won the majority but did not secure the votes needed to be elected. In the end, some of these Republicans decided to rally behind McCarthy, which eventually secured his victory.

Due to the four-day long impasse, the House elections of 2023 have already gained notoriety amongst the public for being one of the longest Congressional elections in United States history.

UPDATE: As of January 6th, 2022, Kevin McCarthy has won the vote for Speaker of the House after fifteen rounds of voting. House members have been sworn in and the 118th Congress has begun. Article wording has been adjusted to reflect this update.

Below is a table showing the 2023 election information for Speaker of the House of Representatives. (Updated on January 7th, 2023)

Voting Session Votes for McCarthy Votes for Jeffries Votes for Other Candidates Votes Present
1 203 212 19 0
2 203 212 19 0
3 202 212 20 0
4 201 212 20 1
5 201 212 20 1
6 201 212 20 1
7 201 212 20 1
8 201 212 20 1
9 200 212 20 1
10 200 212 20 1
11 200 212 20 1
12 213 211 7 0
13 214 212 6 0
14 216 212 4 2
15 216 212 0 6

Source: BallotPedia