Four Republicans joined Democrats Wednesday night in voting against adjourning the House, pushing the motion to the cusp of failure after the GOP was unable to elect a Speaker for the second day in a row.
The motion to adjourn ultimately passed in a narrow 216-214 vote, handing Republicans a win. GOP Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.) and Matt Gaetz (Fla.) and Rep.-elect Eli Crane (Ariz.) were the only Republicans to oppose the measure.
Two Republicans and two Democrats did not vote.
Asked why he voted against the motion to adjourn, Gaetz told reporters, “I love voting.”
The final moment in the vote to adjourn was dramatic, with both parties trying to overcome one another in the tally. The lead alternated between those opposed to and in favor of adjournment before the “yes” votes locked it up.
Democratic leadership had pushed their members to vote against adjourning in a bid to force a seventh vote overall — and fourth on Wednesday — on the Speakership.
Republicans in the chamber erupted in cheers when the final vote was called.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) offered the motion to adjourn after Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), the Republican Speaker nominee, told reporters on his way to the chamber, “I don’t think voting tonight is productive.”
Instead of kicking off the seventh ballot Wednesday evening, the chamber will reconvene at noon on Thursday.
The House adjourned earlier on Wednesday — at around 4:30 p.m. — after McCarthy failed to win the Speakership on three separate ballots. The California Republican won 201 votes, short of the majority needed to secure the gavel. House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) picked up 212 votes.
Twenty Republicans voted for Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) instead of McCarthy on all three of Wednesday’s ballots, and Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) voted “present” throughout the trio.