Kevin McCarthy Elected Speaker of the House

Sam Rhody, Print Staff

   With a record-breaking four days and 15 ballots, Kevin McCarthy of California was elected Speaker of the House. Two hundred sixteen votes elected him into office. Despite normally needing 218 votes, multiple Republican senators voted “present”. This vote would not count for or against any certain person and, therefore, decrease the number of possible votes from 435 to 428. 

   During this time, all Democrats attempted to elect House Minority Leader Hakeem Jefferies. This meant that McCarthy needed almost all of the 222 Republican votes to win the election. On the first day of elections, McCarthy had 203 votes from his fellow Republicans, but this slowly dwindled in the coming days taking him further and further away from the office. By the 11th ballot, he only had 200 votes. After the 14th vote, McCarthy approached Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert to try to gain their support. Them, along with other far-right Republicans, refused to directly support McCarthy and, instead, voted “present”. This led to the majority being lowered to 214 votes, and McCarthy got 216.

   Despite having a Democrat-controlled Senate and Presidency, Republicans still have hope to push their agenda through. One of the first things McCarthy wishes to take care of is increasing inflation. Americans have seen large increases in prices since the COVID-19 pandemic when supply chains were interrupted, and many have become worried over how bad it has become. McCarthy also wishes to tackle rising crime rates and border security. The last major point on his agenda is to look into impeaching President Joe Biden. Several members have already called for this to happen after the recent allegations surrounding classified documents found at Biden’s residence. Any of this may become difficult once out of the House due to lack of Republicans elsewhere. Even simple orders of business, like government funding, may become extremely difficult.

   Though there were many difficulties with becoming elected, McCarthy is sure he will stay for the rest of his term despite only needing one motion to put his position back up to vote. He is confident that he will serve for the entirety of the next two years and have relatively no issues. McCarthy also believes that Democrats and Republicans will not continue how they have been through the drama and nights full of ballots. Only time will tell if any of this holds true.