House Republicans voted late Tuesday night to select Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., to be their latest nominee for speaker even though there is little evidence any member can win enough votes to be elected to the job in a vote on the House floor.
The vote came after another long, chaotic day on Capitol Hill that saw Republicans repeating their nominating process for the fifth time this year. It took 15 rounds of voting on the House floor to elect their first choice, Kevin McCarthy of California. None of the nominees that followed have been able to get that far.
Republicans hope to take bring their latest nominee for a vote on the House floor on Wednesday but similar plans for previous candidates have fallen through after it became clear they did not have the votes to win.
The past three weeks have left many House GOP members frustrated, angry and unable to see a solution. Members have not moved closer together — some began reverting to votes for McCarthy, whose ouster three weeks ago started this crisis.
Others on the far-right continued to cast ballots for Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. Jordan dropped out of the race last week when Republicans voted for him to step aside after losing three rounds of balloting on the House floor. Others
The latest round of closed-door voting began after 8pm on Tuesday with many members absent. Of the 204 members voting, 31 cast a ballot for someone who wasn’t even a declared candidate–sending a clear message that plenty of members are not satisfied with their options.
Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, mocked the outcome as he shared the vote totals with reporters posted up in the hallway outside the vote.
“When you see 31 people voting for other” Weber quipped. “You know, in police work they call that a clue.”
That number grew as the subsequent voting rounds wore on. By the last ballot, McCarthy came in second place with Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., the actual declared second candidate, coming in third.