McCarthy Looses Speakership on 14th Ballot; Physical Encounter Barely Averted


Representative Kevin McCarthy (R) Following His Defeat by Rep. Gaetz Present Vote This Evening.

Representative Kevin McCarthy (R), from California lost his bid for speakership of the House  for the 14th time this week.  He earned 216 votes tonight when 218 votes were required for him in what was touted by McCarthy and some of his allies as a sure thing for his success in tonight’s 10:00 pm vote.

The deciding vote came from Rep. Gaetz who voted “present” rather than vote for McCarthy.  This afternoon McCarthy was confident of the vote to confirm him as Speaker when he told the press:  “It’s about learning how to govern.”

Following the vote McCarthy approached Gaetz to try and persuade him to change his vote.  Eventually, the tension between them became so hot that it looked as though it could come to a physical encounter between Gaetz and allies of McCarthy. In fact, Mike Rogers had to be physically restrained from a physical encounter with Gaetz.  Rogers was seen trying to lunge at Gaetz our of anger at him. Rogers is from Alabama and serves on the Armed Services Committee.

A motion to adjourn until Monday just barely passed.  But that vote was reversed because McCarthy wanted to go for a 15th vote tonight.  That was presumed to be because Gaetz agreed to change his vote so McCarthy could win the Speakership on the 15th ballot to start just before midnight.