Republican Kevin McCarthy becomes US House Speaker After Historic Fight

After 14 failed rounds of voting, Republican Kevin McCarthy finally made it as the House speaker calling an end to the historic post-midnight 15th ballot. Overcoming holdouts from his own ranks and floor tensions, McCarthy won by a margin of 216-212.

McCarthy took the oath of office, and the House was finally able to swear in newly elected lawmakers who had been waiting all week for the chamber to formally open and the 2023-24 session to begin.

“My father always told me, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” McCarthy told cheering fellow Republicans.

Eager to confront President Joe Biden and the Democrats, he promised subpoenas and investigations. “Now the hard work begins,” he declared.

After 4 days of ballots, McCarthy flipped more than a dozen of conservative loyalists to become his supporters. He ultimately prevailed in the 15th round.

The voting was the end of the bitter standoff that had shown the strengths and fragility of American democracy. The hard-fought victory marks the pinnacle of the 57-year-old California Republican’s political career, as he steadily rose through his party’s House leadership in the last decade. Yet his win also illuminated the frailty of his mandate and the deep fault lines within his own party.

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