WASHINGTON — After six ballots the House of Representatives still does not have a Speaker.
Republicans have the majority in the House for the first time in four years, but they are still not able to come to an agreement on who they will elect Speaker of the House.
House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy was the front-runner for the job going into the new Congress but has been unable to secure the votes necessary to become Speaker. He needs 218 votes. The most he has been able to garner is 212 with that number shrinking with each ballot taken.
“I think it’s important for us, as Republicans, to address concerns and come to an agreement,” said Rep. Victoria Spartz. “We need to not waste everyone’s time. We need more deliberation so we can elect a Speaker.”
Spartz was originally a ‘yes’ vote for Kevin McCarthy, but after the fourth ballot was taken at Noon on Wednesday she switched her vote to ‘Present’.
“No one is going to budge. It’s not going to change,” Spartz said on CNN about why she changed her vote. “We have a Constitutional duty to elect a Speaker. It’s a deliberative process. This body needs to learn to deliberate and come to an agreement.”
Spartz said it’s a waste of time to keep voting when a clear candidate that is capable of getting 218 votes is not apparent. Though she originally voted in favor of McCarthy, Spartz added that she believes he has a hard time building consensus.
“If Kevin wants to be the one, he needs to do better with working with people that don’t agree with him and get them on board,” she said.
Voting will enter its third day today going to a seventh ballot. The record number of ballots taken in a Speaker vote is nine back in 1923.