McCarthy Draws Closer Yet Again in 14th Ballot, Now Just Half a Vote Away

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: U.S. Rep.-elect Matt Gaetz (R-FL) talks to Rep.-elect Lauren
Win McNamee/Getty Images

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy inched closer to the gavel Friday night, but House Republicans still did not elect him as speaker in an intense 14th round of voting.

The dramatic ballot came down to a vote from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who shifted from voting against McCarthy to voting “present.” The vote, however, still meant McCarthy was one short of what he needed to clinch the majority and win the speakership.

McCarthy received 216 votes, House Democrat Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) received 216 votes, Gaetz and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) voted “present,” and four defectors voted for other members.

After Republicans had high hopes they would succeed on this ballot, shock and frustration were clear after Gaetz’s “present” vote.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) appeared to yell at Gaetz and lunge toward him, and he was physically pulled back by another member before Rogers stormed out of the chamber.


McCarthy himself strolled up the aisle to Gaetz seemingly in a plea to convert Gaetz to vote for him. McCarthy allies, including Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), could also be seen talking to Gaetz, apparently in an attempt to persuade him to change his vote.

The House chamber was buzzing as Democrats attempted to force another round of voting late into Friday evening, but a decision on if the House would adjourn or continue voting had not been made as of the time of this publishing.

This story is developing.

Write to Ashley Oliver at Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.


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