By Thursday, the House had made history: This speaker election has lasted longer than any since the Civil War. Over nearly a dozen ballots, a group of roughly 20 Republicans consistently voted against McCarthy. They are almost exclusively members and incoming members of the House Freedom Caucus, and they include five freshmen.
Here’s who they are (and we’ll update as the process unfolds):
Biggs is the Freedom Caucus member who stepped forward to challenge McCarthy when the GOP conference chose its leader and candidate for speaker in November. The opposition got just 31 votes — to McCarthy’s 188 — but Biggs signaled that he wasn’t done fighting McCarthy. In an op-ed two weeks ago, he wrote that “it is time to make a change at the top of the House of Representatives. I cannot vote for the gentleman from California, Mr. McCarthy.” Spokesman Matthew Tragesser assured The Washington Post: “He is a hard no. He will not vote for McCarthy under any circumstance.” And Tragesser added that it’s “not a possibility” that Biggs would vote “present.”
Bishop (N.C.), another Freedom Caucus member, voted for Biggs on the first ballot, making him the second Republican to go against McCarthy’s speaker bid. He voted against McCarthy until the 12th ballot.
Freedom Caucus member Boebert (Colo.) became the first House Republican on Tuesday to cast her speaker vote for Jordan.
On Wednesday, she said of former president Donald Trump: “The president needs to tell Kevin McCarthy that ‘Sir, you do not have the votes and it’s time to withdraw.’”
Oklahoma lawmaker Brecheen offered perhaps the first surprise vote against McCarthy, casting his vote for Jim Banks of Indiana on the first ballot. He voted against McCarthy until the 12th ballot.
Brecheen, an incoming member of the Freedom Caucus, hadn’t telegraphed his intentions before Tuesday.
The Texas lawmaker, another Freedom Caucus member was another somewhat surprising early vote against McCarthy. He continued to vote against McCarthy until the 12th ballot.
Andrew S. Clyde
Freedom Caucus member Clyde of Georgia voted for Biggs during the first ballot and did not flip over to McCarthy’s side until the 12th ballot.
Crane, a freshman from Arizona and incoming member of the Freedom Caucus, also voted for Biggs during the first ballot.
Donalds voted for McCarthy on the first two ballots before voting for Jordan on the third. The prominent second-term Republican from Florida told CNN before the third ballot, “The one thing that’s clear is [McCarthy] doesn’t have the votes. So, at some point, as a conference, we’re going to have to figure out who does.”
On the fourth ballot, Donalds was nominated for the speaker position, marking the first time that the two major parties both nominated a Black American for the role.
He told reporters Tuesday that he could still switch back to McCarthy, and did so Friday.
The Freedom Caucus member from Florida was the first one to come out against McCarthy hard, long before the House GOP conference chose McCarthy as its leader and nominee for speaker. Gaetz said before the conference vote, “I’m not voting for Kevin McCarthy. I’m not voting for him tomorrow. I’m not voting for him on the floor.” Puck News went on to ask Gaetz whether there was any concession that could change his mind, and he reportedly responded with a flat “no.” Gaetz also told The Hill that he won’t vote “present”: “Never voted ‘present’ in my life. Don’t plan to start now.”
Another Freedom Caucus member, the Virginia lawmaker had spoken out against McCarthy before the conference vote, too. While his statements suggested some wiggle room, he was unequivocal in a recent interview with Stephen K. Bannon. Bannon asked him whether there was anything McCarthy could do to earn his vote, and Good responded, “No, sir, because we can do better. … We have to have a new speaker.”
Paul A. Gosar
The Freedom Caucus member from Arizona is the only member to vote against the last three GOP nominees for speaker when the party was in the majority: John A. Boehner, Paul D. Ryan and now McCarthy. He ultimately voted for McCarthy on the 12th ballot.
The Freedom Caucus member from Maryland cast his first ballot for former representative Lee Zeldin (N.Y.), who lost his bid for the New York governorship in November. He voted for McCarthy on the 13th ballot.
Anna Paulina Luna
Luna is an incoming member of the Freedom Caucus and a Trump ally from Florida. She told the New York Times ahead of Tuesday’s vote that McCarthy’s final pitch to lawmakers only strengthened the holdouts’ resolve: “There were some members that felt very disrespected,” she said. “And it pushed them into a category that — I don’t think they’ll ever vote for him. She voted for McCarthy on the 12th ballot.
Mary E. Miller
Miller, a second-term member from Illinois, voted for Jordan during the first three ballots and for Donalds on the ballots that followed, before switching to McCarthy on the 12th.
The Freedom Caucus member from South Carolina has cited McCarthy’s refusal to adopt the Republican Study Committee’s plan for the budget and has said he’s a firm no. “I’m not going to support Kevin McCarthy,” he told Just the News. He later told Politico that he is a “hard” no.
He voted for McCarthy on the 12th ballot.
The Tennessee freshman and incoming Freedom Caucus member has called for the impeachment of President Biden and Vice President Harris. He voted for McCarthy on the 12th ballot.
Perry, the chair of the Freedom Caucus from Pennsylvania, voted for Biggs on the first ballot. He eventually voted in support of McCarthy on the 12th ballot.
Matthew M. Rosendale
The Freedom Caucus member from Montana has highlighted an issue many of his colleagues share: the idea that the House rules don’t empower the rank and file enough. “We need a leader who can stand up to a Senate and President Biden, and unfortunately, that isn’t Kevin McCarthy,” Rosendale said. That would seem to leave open the possibility that McCarthy could make the kind of changes Rosendale needs. But Rosendale’s office indicated that he’s mostly firm. A spokeswoman told Puck that Rosendale would vote for McCarthy only under “extreme circumstances.”
Rosendale is also considered a possible challenger to Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) in 2024. (He ran unsuccessfully in 2018, losing by a narrow margin.)
The Texas lawmaker has focused like a laser on changing House rules, but he also called McCarthy a “friend” and said he has “been engaging and will continue to be engaging in good faith.” He voted for McCarthy on the 12th ballot.
The Texas lawmaker is one of the most conservative freshmen elected in the 2022 class eventually cast his vote for McCarthy on the 12th ballot.
On the first three ballots, Spartz voted for McCarthy. On the fourth, though, she voted “present,” lowering the threshold needed to win a majority from 218 to 217, and did so throughout Thursday, “continuing to signal to her colleagues that they needed to reach a consensus before she resumed voting for McCarthy,” reports The Post’s Marianna Sotomayor. She resumed voting for McCarthy on Friday.
Spartz, a second-term member from Indiana, has gained attention over the past year as the only member of Congress who was born in Ukraine. Like Donalds, she is not in the Freedom Caucus.
Kevin McCarthy’s bid for speaker of the House
The vote: The House elected Kevin McCarthy after days of defeats and concessions to win over hard-line Republicans. See how each of the House members voted in all 15 ballots.
A dramatic finish: After multiple ballots over four days (the longest House speaker vote in history took two months and 133 votes), the House turned into a near-brawl late Friday after a 14th round of voting failed. See the remarkable near-confrontation on the House floor.
Kevin McCarthy’s concessions: McCarthy made several concessions in an attempt to win over 20 Republicans who voted against his candidacy. In the end, these were the remaining six holdouts McCarthy needed to persuade. Here are the concessions that could become flash points.