A band of ultraconservative rebels on Tuesday blocked House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy from securing the speaker’s gavel in the first three votes of the new Republican majority, marking the first time the House has gone to multiple ballots to elect a speaker in 100 years.
In a series of dramatic televised votes on the House floor, McCarthy, of California, received support from an overwhelming majority of his GOP Conference, but that was short of the 218 needed to win a simple majority of the 434 House members present.
A group of 19 conservatives opposed him in the first two rounds of voting, but by the third, that number grew to 20. The House adjourned for the day just before 5:30 p.m. EST and will return at noon Wednesday.
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