House speaker vote – live: McCarthy thanks Trump for final votes as fight nearly breaks out on floor


Namita Singh,Oliver O’Connell and Bevan Hurley

Sat, 7 January 2023 at 6:36 pm GMT

Kevin McCarthy was finally elected speaker of the House of Representatives after 15 rounds of voting, clinching the gavel just after midnight on Saturday.

The longest contest for speaker of the House of Representatives in more than a century finally came to an end as six remaining Republican holdouts opted to vote “present”, giving Mr McCarthy a majority over Democrat Hakeem Jeffries.

Earlier, Republican House member Mike Rogers had to be physically restrained after lunging at Matt Gaetz amid chaotic scenes in the House.

Congressman Richard Hudson grabbed Mr Rogers by his face and physically pulled him away.

In his first speech as speaker, Mr McCarthy thanked former president Donald Trump for “helping get those final votes”.

Mr McCarthy’s bid had been delayed by a group of far-right Republicans including the likes of Lauren Boebert and Mr Gaetz.

However, on Friday he made significant progress in the 12th ballot, managing to flip a total of 14 representatives-elect in his favour after lengthy negotiations.

Key points

  • Kevin McCarthy elected House speaker
  • GOP lawmaker restrained as fight nearly breaks out
  • ‘Now the hard work begins’, says McCarthy after a historic win
  • How McCarthy was elected House speaker in rowdy post-midnight vote

McCarthy thanks Trump: ‘I don’t think anyone should doubt his influence’

18:15 , Bevan Hurley

Kevin McCarthy praised former president Donald Trump for helping to secure his election as Speaker of the House.

“I don’t think anyone should doubt his influence,” Mr McCarthy said after six GOP holdouts voted “present” in the 15th and final ballot.

“He was with me from the beginning. He was all in. What he’s really saying for the party and the country is we have to come together.”

George Santos sworn in as congressman despite fury over largely faked background

17:45 , Bevan Hurley

George Santos, the freshman from New York who admitted lying about his professional and education history, has been sworn in as a congressman.

Mr Santos is the subject of a criminal enquiry over his “stunning” deceptions, which included claiming to run an animal charity, that he was Jewish, and that his mother died on 9/11.

But the freshman Republican has vowed to weather the storm of criticism and serve the people of New York’s third congressional district, who are not likely to have another shot at choosing their representation in the House for another two years.

John Bowden has the story.

George Santos sworn in as congressman despite fury over largely faked background

Matt Gaetz reveals why he flipped on House speaker vote

17:15 , Bevan Hurley

Matt Gaetz said he finally agreed to vote “present” after Kevin McCarthy agreed to all of his demands.

“I ran out of things I could even imagine to ask for,” Mr Gaetz told CNN reporter Melanie Zanona after Friday night’s dramatic vote.

After previously vowing to never vote for Mr McCarthy, Mr Gaetz was one of six holdout Republicans who changed their vote to present on Friday night.

Full story below.

Matt Gaetz says he ran out of things to ask for as McCarthy kept caving

Shock scenes as Republican held back in confrontation with Matt Gaetz

16:45 , Bevan Hurley

A near-brawl broke out between Republicans on the House floor late on Friday night as four days of frustration at Matt Gaetz’s refusal to back Kevin McCarthy’s teetering bid for Speaker boiled over.

Republican House member Mike Rogers had to be physically restrained after lunging at Mr Gaetz amid chaotic scenes on Capitol Hill.

Full story below.

Republican held back in confrontation with Matt Gaetz during Speaker votes

Champagne popping in Speaker McCarthy’s office

16:15 , Bevan Hurley

Kevin McCarthy celebrated his belated election as House speaker in the early hours of Saturday morning with champagne.

Politico reporter Olivia Beavers snapped video of dozens of bottles of Gloria Ferrer bubbly being wheeled into the speaker’s office.

Earlier in the week, boxes of Washington DC favourite Wiseguy Pizza were seen being brought in as negotiations continued late into the night.

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