The House adjourned without a speaker on Tuesday for the first time in a century. Kevin McCarthy Failed in third straight vote for Gavel.

And in the final ballot, the GOP leader saw his support waning.

Staring at a threadbare majority, McCarthy has been unable to fend off opposition dug in from the right wing of his convention, which is now openly rooting for conservative hero Rep. jim jordan (R-Ohio) to pick up the gavel.

GOP lawmakers are now expected to resolve their leadership battle in private after several fractious hours on the floor. McCarthy and his aides have already begun talks with some of the 20 defectors to break the tension before the House resumes on Wednesday afternoon.

“We’re going to have some more talks tonight to see what happens next,” the rep said. chip roy (R-Texas), one of McCarthy’s main opponents. He declined to say whether McCarthy’s 20 dissidents would meet themselves, but said the talks would involve members “in conference”.

But by the time MPs return in the afternoon on Wednesday, it is unclear whether McCarthy will still be the one seeking the vote – or another member entirely.

After 14 years in leadership, McCarthy has now tried and failed three times to fulfill his decades-long dream of becoming speaker. In another troubling sign for the GOP leader, he lost the vote of someone who was endorsing him: Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) flipped to endorse Jordan on a third ballot.

For most of Tuesday, McCarthy’s allies insisted they would keep voting until some way was found to seize the gavel in an effort to crush their opponents. The result was a game of high-stakes chicken—the second time since the Civil War that a party required multiple tries to elect a speaker on the House floor.

But that sentiment began to change by the third vote, with many GOP lawmakers seeing no way for McCarthy to win without a major change in dynamics. And some feared that the California Republican could lose even more support from The Donald without some personal intervention.

“I think it’s going to be increasingly clear that he’s not going to be the speaker. We’ll never cave,” Rep. bob good (R-Va.) said conservatives blocked McCarthy from winning the gavel, urging him to drop out.

In an effort to bite McCarthy opponents to their knees, Jordan gave an impassioned speech nominating the Californian, but it did nothing to move the detractors. Unlike the first round of voting—where McCarthy picked undecided House Freedom Caucus members, including Reps. ben cline (v.) and clay higgins (La.), and delegate-elect mike collins (R-Ga.), who had previously pledged to vote against McCarthy — the GOP leader did not pick up any new endorsements in the second round.

How long will the Speaker’s fight continue to be a favorite parlor game of the House? McCarthy acknowledged Tuesday that this could go on for “days,” while one of his opponents, Rep. Ralph Norman (RS.C.), said they could stay for “six more months”. Meanwhile, the House GOP risks a chaotic floor fight with no chamber rules yet. The House cannot even administer oath to its members without the Speaker.

Those 20 opposition votes came despite widespread pressure from McCarthy and his allies, whom he has respected over the years — with some members even vowing to punish defectors by removing them from committees.

“No one in this body has worked harder for this Republican majority than Kevin McCarthy,” Rep. Alice Stefanik (RN.Y.), who leads the GOP convention, said in a flourishing floor speech before lawmakers began voting.

After brewing for years, the rebellion against McCarthy materialized on the floor in front of all 434 members (with the seat of the late Democratic Rep. Don McEachin still vacant). On a day of lots of pomp and circumstance, dozens of MPs brought sobbing babies, including at least one crying infant, as they sat down during the full roll call vote.

The substantial bloc of opposition against McCarthy has grown since day one, when only five House Republicans publicly declared they would vote against their party’s leader.

But storm clouds were looming over McCarthy Tuesday. Just before he took the stage, House Republicans gathered for a tense — and sometimes raucous — meeting where McCarthy and his top supporters cracked down on more than a dozen conservative hardliners who vowed to block their speaker’s bid. .

In a fiery speech to his convention in a closed-door meeting, McCarthy made sweeping concessions to those who have vowed to oppose him, largely to the House Freedom Caucus, according to several members in the room. He also told members that there are about 20 GOP lawmakers who plan to vote against him, far more than the five who have publicly opposed him — in a preview of the chaos that found him on the floor.

“I’ve earned this job. We’ve earned this majority, and we’re going to win it today,” McCarthy said to a standing ovation, according to lawmakers in the room.

It wasn’t just California Republicans calling out conservative hardliners at the convention meeting. Many of McCarthy’s frustrated supporters, too, jumped on the bandwagon of cynicism. To a point, Rep. mike rogers (R-Ala.), the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, pushed the idea that any Republican who opposed McCarthy should be removed from the committee’s functions.

Roy, one of McCarthy’s chief opponents, spoke out to defend his position—and lashed out at Rogers’ remarks about keeping fellow Republicans off committees, shouting profanities at his colleague. Rogers said after the meeting that his warning that the steering committee would block McCarthy opponents from obtaining committee assignments was not just a threat: “I promised it.”

And McCarthy retorted at Roy’s defense of his protest: “You’re not voting against me, it’s against the convention and the country.”

Roy was not the only Republican to vote to speak out against McCarthy. agent. scott perry (R-Pa.) and Norman both reiterated their stances at the convention. The GOP leader responded to Perry: “What’s left? What do you want?”

Perry and other anti-McCarthy members, including Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Matt Getz (R-Fla.), publicly railed against McCarthy after the closed-door meeting, saying that his allies were resorting to political threats instead of making a deal. Boebert announced his public opposition to the rep as well on Tuesday morning. Dan Bishop (RNC).

Even before the explosive meeting, early signs Tuesday were not in McCarthy’s favor. Perry sharply criticized McCarthy just before the meeting, saying the conservatives had asked for a number of concessions, such as commitments on committee seats, which would earn them 218 votes in return, but the California Republican refused.

McCarthy has worked zealously to turn down support, a long list of concessions He is open to making changes to the rules, including making it easier to remove a speaker.

In a significant victory for conservatives, McCarthy set the number of Republican supporters needed to vote on deposing the speaker, to the dismay of some rank-and-file members. That’s the face of just weeks ago, when the convention set limits on inducing such a vote, known as a motion to vacate, among a majority of its members. And some conservatives argue that’s not good enough – they wish a member would be able to implement such a proposal.

Some Republicans say McCarthy must make a deal after several ballots to persuade some Democrats to leave the House. Others, such as Rep. don bacon (R-Neb.), has said that if conservatives block McCarthy, they may work with a band of centrist Democrats to elect a more moderate Republican instead.

For now, Democrats have no plans to intervene to help McCarthy or any other Republican as their party falters. But there have been quiet talks about what they might extract from the GOP if the race for speaker breaks down. Some are even discussing plans for a possible power-sharing agreement — a scenario many Republicans described as outlandish.

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