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BREAKING: How Will The House Speaker Voting Calamity End?



Kevin McCarthy made history by not being popular enough to win his bid for Speaker of the House on the first two votes (at the time of this article). Now the House will simply vote over and over again until a candidate gets 218 votes or they vote to change the rule which also requires 218 votes. Here are some of the things that could happen now that the House is locked into an intense vote-a-rama where members must be in their seats and vote by voice. It’s going to get real cranky in there real fast. 

Here are some of the possible outcomes:  

  1. Kevin McCarthy manages to get 218 votes 

The more and more implausible outcome is that he becomes Speaker by traditional methods; convincing the holdouts to come over to his side.

  1. Steve Scalise is nominated as a replacement and wins 218 votes

The most plausible outcome according to analysts is that Rep. Steve Scalise (second in leadership rank to Kevin McCarthy) will ultimately replace McCarthy as the top nominee and will easily sail to 218 votes being that he is one of the most popular guys in Congress. Especially considering he almost died in a terrorist shooting and that memory still lives fresh in the minds of his friends and colleagues. 

  1. Kevin McCarthy tortures the House with dozens of votes and eventually wears them into a rule change where he takes over as Speaker by plurality instead of hard majority 

In 1849 when the House could not get to a majority on Speaker after 59 votes in a row, the House finally decided to change the rules and make it so the Speaker could win by plurality (meaning most votes) versus requiring 218. At this time it sort of seems like Kevin is aiming for this pathway hoping to wear the democrats down into voting with his contingency on a rule change. 

This wasn’t the longest in history. The longest in history took 133 ballots and several months and was in 1856. If you’re tracking those dates, that means the House has not been this at odds since we literally had a civil war. 

The 1849 final victor was Howell Cobb (pictured above) and the 1856 victor was Nathaniel Banks. No one remembered either of those men and no one will remember Kevin McCarthy.

  1. Republicans vote for Hakeem Jeffries just to spite Kevin McCarthy 

If Kevin McCarthy does continue the vote-a-rama we don’t know how angry the caucus could get especially if he does pull off a rule change. With such a close majority, there is an outside chance that Hakeem Jeffries could secure the Speaker vote with some Republicans voting just to spite McCarthy.  

  1. Another member gets enough votes to become Speaker 

Names other than Scalise like Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, and Patrick McHenry and others have been floated as substitutes for McCarthy and there could be some behind the scenes dealings to agree on another name, though, Scalise is the major front runner as a sub. 

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