McCarthy Survives Gaetz Of Hell; Wins Speakership On 15th Try

US Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks to US Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) in the House Chamber at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2023. - Kevin McCarthy lost out in the 14th round of voting in the race to be the next speaker of the US House of Representatives late Friday, amid extraordinary scenes of acrimonious Republican infighting. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

At a glance

  • Republican Kevin McCarthy was elected House speaker on a historic post-midnight 15th ballot early Saturday, overcoming holdouts from his own ranks and floor tensions boiling over after a chaotic week that tested the new GOP majority’s ability to govern.
  • After four days of grueling ballots, McCarthy flipped more than a dozen conservative holdouts to become supporters, including the chairman of the chamber’s Freedom Caucus, leaving him just a few shy of seizing the gavel for the new Congress.
  • Moments earlier absolute mayhem broke out on the House floor as the 14th Speaker’s ballot left McCarthy one vote short.
  • McCarthy immediately walked up to Reps. Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert, presumably with the intent of persuading them to change their “present” votes to “yes.”
  • Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama then lunged at Gaetz and had to be held back by Rep. Richard Hudson of North Carolina before an all-out fist fight could break out on the House floor.

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