Still no sign in sight of anyone electing a Speaker of the House. I wonder if anyone’s thinking of starting votes to move to a plurality vote instead of a majority vote, yet? I haven’t heard anything about it yet, but some folks must be eyeing the idea by now, right? Currently, a candidate needs to get a majority to vote for them. That’s the magic 218 number you keep hearing about. Moving to a plurality vote would mean that a candidate would just need to get more votes than the other person to win.
🤡 8:45am, PT: File this under “Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time” – Matt Gaetz said on Fox News this morning, “I assure you that if Democrats join up to elect a moderate Republican, I will resign from the House of Representatives.”
📰 A little non-Speaker of the House news before we get going this morning…
- Two parts of the “tripledemic,” flu and RSV, seem to be trending downward, but COVID-19 is heading up, thanks to a new Omicron subvariant, XBB.1.5.
- South Carolina’s Supreme Court struck down the state’s six-week abortion ban.
- The stuff you buy is actually of lower quality and breaks faster than you’re used to. You’re not just imagining it.
🤡 All right, when we last left our intrepid adventurers, McCarthy had just lost his 11th vote for Speaker of the House, but there were claims of a “deal” swirling, in which McCarthy had found ways to capitulate even further to the Insurrection Caucus. Which, somewhat hilariously, still had not gotten him the votes he needs to snag the Speakership. If said deal even exists – reports on that conflict, at best. Unless they get the votes together to recess or whatever, I assume we have more meaningless Speakership votes ahead today. There’s also rumors going around that Representatives-elect are going to have to cancel weekend plans because there may be votes over the weekend, but some members of Congress are already heading home so that will affect the number of votes McCarthy needs. But the folks who went home were voting for McCarthy, so not much help there.
🤡 10am, PT: They gaveled in and swung right into a 12th vote. McCarthy’s not gonna win, but so far six of the hardliners have changed their votes to McCarthy, apparently based on whatever “deal” McCarthy made. Also, Matt Gaetz nominated Jim Jordan while bashing McCarthy, was roundly booed, and a bunch of Republicans stormed out of the room to go cool off on the balcony. One pool reporter said at least some of them were cussing Gaetz out when they went out. If we get lucky we might get a fist fight today!
- Update, 10:25am, PT – No Speaker. Thirteen of the previous “No” votes flipped to McCarthy, along with Spartz, who’d been voting “Present.” Biggs, Boebert, Crane, Gaetz, Good, Harris and Rosendale stuck with “No.” (Link.)
- Thirteenth vote TBD.
🤡 11:40am PT: The House is running a 13th vote. Not sure anything has changed, but it would be hilarious (in an awful way) if the flippers flipped back for this vote.
- Update, 12:40pm, PT – No speaker, but McCarthy picked up another flipped vote. Now they’re voting to adjourn… Until 10pm ET? Stalling, I guess, until more McCarthy voters can get back in town?
- The House is adjourned until 10pm ET tonight. Apparently they expect to run a 14th vote tonight.
🤡 7:10pm, PT: The House is back in session and we’re heading into a 14th vote. It seems like there may have been some movement amongst the handful of Insurrectionist hold-outs who were refusing to vote for McCarthy. Matt Gaetz, alleged sex trafficker, referred to McCarthy as “Speaker designate” on TV earlier, and he’s been chumming around with a McCarthy aide. We might some movement in the votes.
🤡 8:05pm, PT: Kinda looks like Gaetz might have deliberately fucked over McCarthy on this vote. I think they thought they had Gaetz in the bag, and he voted “Present” at the last second. McCarthy strode back to him for a heated conversation, and some guy got grabbed (by the face!) and pulled off the floor.
- “Some guy” was apparently Mike Rogers of Alabama?
🤡 8:15 pm, PT: No Speaker. We did almost get a fight though, I think! The clown show is heating up.
- Someone made a motion to adjourn. Voice vote was challenged, so they’re going to a regular vote to adjourn until noon on Monday.
- The vote to adjourn did not pass.
🤡 8:36 pm, PT: Big flurry of activity just as the vote to adjourn was ending in a yes, and suddenly Republicans were changing their votes. I think they might have got Gaetz (or someone else, I suppose) to change their vote, and they want to try again.
- Twitter says CNN is reporting that Gaetz will change his vote, and the Republicans had a chant of “One more time” going for a couple of minutes.
🤡 8:47 pm, PT: Rolling straight into the 15th vote. Lots of excitement on the floor. They sure seem to think they’ve got the votes this time.
- So, by what I’m seeing from various reporters on Twitter, while McCarthy and Gaetz were having their little confrontation, Trump called Marjorie Taylor Greene, and possibly also Biggs and Gaetz? Or Greene took her phone to them? Then Greene had a little chat with Gaetz, and that seems to have been what set off the sudden flurry of activity to avert adjourning and run another vote.
☝️ I mean, at this point, I wouldn’t even be surprised if that actually did happen.
🤡 9:30pm, PT: And McCarthy’s got it this time. He’s Speaker of the House – in name, at least. In practice, the Insurrectionist Caucus will be running the show. Once it’s official, McCarthy will swear folks in, and they’ll vote on House rules on Monday. G’night, y’all, and good luck. The next two years are going to be a goddamn mess.
Photo Credit: Kevin McCarthy at a Trump rally in 2020, by Gage Skidmore. (CC BY-SA 2.0)