Here’s how members of the U.S. House voted on the question of who should be Speaker for the 118th Congress (2023-2024) on January 7.
ELECTION OF KEVIN MCCARTHY AS SPEAKER
Rep.-elect Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was elected House speaker on Jan. 7, 2023, with 216 members voting to support his candidacy, 212 supporting Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and six declaring “present.” McCarthy’s election came on the 15th ballot in an intraparty power struggle stretching over four days. The Constitution requires a majority vote to elect the House speaker, who is second in line for the presidency. After this vote, the 434 House members were sworn into office and the chamber began officially functioning as part of the 118th Congress.
Floor Debate, Pro and Con
McCarthy backer James Comer, R-Ky., said: “For the past 2 years, one-party Democrat rule has resulted in multiple crises that are harming Americans without any oversight or accountability from this body….In a Republican majority under Speaker Kevin McCarthy, this broken Congress will finally be fixed, we will return to regular order and we will drag those senators kicking and screaming along with us every step of the way.”
Jeffries backer Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, said: “I shudder to think what a Republican majority’s inability to govern would have meant on [Jan. 6, 2021] and what it could mean in the future for those of us who believe in defending our democracy abroad, and now, more than ever, here at home. On this painful anniversary, thankfully, the honorable Hakeem Jeffries made sure that we came together to mark the moment… and ensure that we recommit to our republic and our democracy.”
All Republicans voting supported McCarthy. All Democrats voting supported Jeffries. The six members who effectively did not vote by declaring “present” were GOP Rep.-elects Andy Biggs and Eli Crane of Arizona, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Bob Good of Virginia and Matthew Rosendale of Montana.