Photos show members of Congress reading comic books and bringing their pets to the House floor as the GOP speaker gridlock continues

Photos show members of Congress reading comic books and bringing their pets to the House floor as the GOP speaker gridlock continues

Rep Zoe Lofgren reads a comic book on the House floor
Members of Congress have been reading comic books and bringing their pets to the House chamber as voting for House speaker entered a fourth day.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
  • Republican leader Kevin McCarthy needs 218 votes to become House speaker.
  • A faction of Republicans have withheld their support, bringing the proceedings to a standstill.
  • Day four arrived on Friday, and members of Congress have been finding creative ways to pass the time.

After 12 rounds of voting as of Friday afternoon, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy still has not succeeded in his bid to become speaker of the House.

Kevin McCarthy purses his lips
House Republican Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy reacts as a seventh round of voting for a new Speaker starts not to go his way on January 5, 2023.Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

As a result of the GOP’s slim majority in the House of Representatives, McCarthy needs the support of nearly all Republicans to reach the necessary 218 votes to become speaker.

A group of 20 Republicans, members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, have repeatedly withheld their support since the start of the 118th Congress on Tuesday.

By Friday afternoon and the fourth day of voting, and after lengthy behind-the-scenes negotiations, 13 of those Republicans flipped in favor of McCarthy in the 12th ballot.

Though with seven holdouts, the California Republican still lacks a majority to become House speaker, and a 13th ballot is expected.

Photos from inside the House chamber show the growing frustration — and boredom — with the proceedings.

Kevin McCarthy puts his face in his hands on the House floor
Rep. Kevin McCarthy speaks with a colleague as the US House of Representatives continues voting for new speaker on January 4, 2023.OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

McCarthy rubbed his eyes as votes came in on Wednesday.

The four-day standstill means that the House currently has zero members. It cannot swear-in lawmakers, introduce any bills, or pass legislation until a speaker is elected. Basic functioning of the members’ offices, such as committee work and constituent services have also been brought to a halt.

Republican Rep. Blake Moore of Utah slumped in his seat on day two.

Rep Blake Moore slumps in his seat on the House floor
Rep. Blake Moore (right) on the House floor on January 4, 2023.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Moore, who voted for McCarthy, told CNN on Tuesday that Republicans, “for better or worse, notoriously, don’t always fall in line.”

On day three, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from California, apparently took to reading comics on the House floor.

Rep Zoe Lofgren reads a comic book on the House floor
Rep. Zoe Lofgren reads comics during a vote in the House of Representatives on January 5, 2023.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Other members of Congress read the newspaper.

McCarthy’s reflection was visible in a lectern as Rep. Elise Stefanik tallied votes in his unsuccessful bid on day three.

Kevin McCarthy's face is reflected in a lectern as votes are tallied on the House floor
Kevin McCarthy’s face is reflected in a lectern as Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York tallies votes in the House Chamber on January 5, 2023.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

McCarthy failed to earn the necessary votes on several consecutive ballots.

Before the ninth vote began, Rep. Linda Sanchez played a game on her tablet.

Rep Linda Sanchez plays a game on her tablet on the House floor
Rep. Linda Sanchez of California plays a game before the start of the ninth vote in the House Chamber on January 5, 2023.Alex Brandon/AP

Sanchez tweeted on Wednesday that McCarthy was having a “terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day,” a reference to the classic children’s book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”

Republican Rep. Steve Womack was photographed yawning during the 11th round of votes.

Rep Hal Rogers and Rep Steve Womack on the House floor
Rep. Hal Rogers (left) and Rep. Steve Womack listen to the 11th round of votes in the House chamber on January 5, 2023.Alex Brandon/AP

The Arkansas Republican sat next to Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky.

Rep. Nancy Mace brought her dog, Libby, to the House floor as she voted to adjourn at the end of the third day.

Rep-elect Nancy Mace holds a dog in the House chamber
Nancy Mace of South Carolina holds her dog as she attempts to cast her vote to adjourn.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

When asked by a reporter if dogs were allowed in the House chamber, Mace replied that “there are no rules right now,” the Independent reported.

McCarthy’s wife, Judy Wages, sat above a sign indicating votes to adjourn at the end of the third day of voting.

Kevin McCarthy's wife sits by a sign in the House chamber indicating vote numbers
Judy Wages, the wife of Kevin McCarthy, watches a vote to adjourn on January 5, 2023.Win McNamee/Getty Images

“I don’t know if we will get there today, but we are going to make progress,” McCarthy told Bloomberg News reporter Erik Wasson as he entered the Capitol on Friday, the fourth day of voting.

Read the original article on Insider

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