WASHINGTON, D.C. - For a long and frustrating third day, divided Republicans kept the speaker’s chair of the U.S. House sitting empty Thursday, Jan. 5 as party leader Kevin McCarthy failed again and again in an excruciating string of ballots to win enough GOP votes to seize the chamber’s gavel.
The pressure was building as McCarthy lost seventh, eighth and then historic ninth, 10th and 11th rounds of voting, surpassing the number 100 years ago, in a prolonged fight to choose a speaker in a disputed election. By nightfall, despite raucous protests from Democrats, Republicans voted to adjourn and return Friday to try again.
Rep.-elect Andy Ogles, R-Tenn., left, and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., are seen on the House floor during a vote in which McCarthy did not receive enough votes to become Speaker of the House on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. (Tom Willia
Amid the stalemate, Wisconsin's congressional delegation has voted consistently.
The six Republicans all voted for Kevin McCarthy in each of the 11 votes as of Thursday night, while the two Democrats cast their votes for Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.
At 11 failed votes, the 118th Congress is already tied for the sixth-longest speaker vote in the history of the House. It hasn't taken this long since 1859.
Wisconsin Congressman Scott Fitzgerald told FOX6 News he felt like the Republicans backing McCarthy were making ground in negotiations with the 20 or so members that haven't voted for him.
US Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) speaks to US Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on the House Floor as voting continues for new speaker at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on Jan. 5, 2023. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP
As it stood Thursday night, there had been no real change in the tally since the first vote on Tuesday.
Fitzgerald said Thursday he doesn't believe this will hinder Republicans moving forward.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is seen on the House floor during a vote in which he did not receive enough votes to become Speaker of the House on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
"I really don't. I mean, I think that as soon as this race is decided, and the members are sworn in, and the committee assignments are handed out, that this will be a distant memory," said Fitzgerald. "Maybe a historical point in time, but really, a distant memory."