Republican Kevin McCarthy narrowly lost his chance to become speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives on the 14th ballot after a tense congressional battle.
The House of Representatives decided to hold the 15th vote immediately rather than adjourn overnight.
After midterm elections in the fall, Mr McCarthy’s party controlled the US House of Representatives, the House of Representatives, by a narrow 222-212 vote.
Usually, as a formality, the election of the Speaker is seamless, and the leader of the largest party will do the job.
However, the recent split republican party Meaning it didn’t happen — and led to the first failure of a nominee in a century.
In the 14th ballot, Mr McCarthy got 216 votes – one less than needed to win – as a small number of right-wing hardliners stuck around.
They won the support of many colleagues despite his pledge to cut spending and make other concessions.
During the tense exchange, Mr. McCarthy was seen walking to the back of the chamber to confront lawmakers. Matt Gaetz, did not vote for him.
A hostile back and forth ensued, while some Republican lawmakers began to crowd around them.
Rep. Mike Rogers appeared to rush in the direction where Gaetz was sitting, but was blocked by other members.
“Keep it civil,” someone yelled.
Representatives also saw Richard Hudson grab Rogers by the mouth, but it was unclear what the altercation was about.
Most speaker votes since 1859
While McCarthy agreed with many of his critics, a handful of far-right Republicans don’t think Mr. McCarthy is conservative enough for the job.
One of the most difficult demands Mr. McCarthy agreed to was to restore longstanding House rules that would have allowed any member to vote to remove him from office.
The speaker is one of the most powerful positions in American politics, and there isn’t one, Congress Can not operate.
This week’s defeat marks the highest vote for a Speaker’s vote since 1859.
This week, the selection meeting lasted several hours in the chamber – even more than eight hours.
The impasse has raised questions about the GOP’s ability to govern for the next two years.