Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Thursday vowed to remain in the speakership race despite failing to secure enough support during multiple rounds of voting.
When CNN asked him when he would realize he is short of the needed votes to become speaker, McCarthy replied, “After I win.”
McCarthy also addressed the gridlock on the House floor. Twenty House conservatives have opposed him through every round of voting for three days.
“It’s all going to be this way until an agreement comes,” McCarthy defiantly said:
Asked at what point will he make a realization that the outcome won’t change, McCarthy told me: “After I win.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 5, 2023
For McCarthy to win the speakership vote, he must convince 16 Republicans to back him. His margin of error is four votes if all Democrats show up and vote on the House floor.
McCarthy has tried to negotiate with conservatives. He conceded more than 15 requests from the conservative holdouts to become speaker, though his critics claim some of the concessions are not enforceable.
On Wednesday, McCarthy rolled out four new concessions. Those include permitting one member motion threshold needed to force a vote ousting a speaker, instead of five; giving more House Freedom Caucus members on the House Rules Committee (two seats); pledging to hold votes on lawmaker term limit and border security bills; and allowing major changes to the appropriations process to prevent another omnibus bill by allowing any lawmaker to offer floor amendments.
Despite the recent concessions, many of the 20 conservatives have been adamant in their opposition to McCarthy.
“Make no mistake: I’ll continue to do what’s right, not what’s easy — and I’ll stay on target until the job is done and the status quo is defeated,” Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) stated Wednesday.
With a 9th ballot assured, this is now tied for the 8th longest Speaker election in history, tying the 1923 vote that ended with Frederick Gillet winning on the 9th ballot: pic.twitter.com/jS2G3S4iPv
— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) January 5, 2023
The House will keep voting until a member-elect receives enough votes to meet the threshold. No other House business can occur before the House chooses a leader.