January 5, 2023 GOP deadlocked over House speaker vote

By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Maureen Chowdhury and Elise Hammond, CNN

Updated 9:41 a.m. ET, January 6, 2023
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9:41 a.m. ET, January 6, 2023

Our live coverage of the House speaker election has moved here.

10:06 p.m. ET, January 5, 2023

McCarthy says there's no timeline for getting to 218 votes and defends concessions he has made

From CNN's Manu Raju

McCarthy talks with the media after the House voted to adjourn for the evening on Thursday, January 5.
McCarthy talks with the media after the House voted to adjourn for the evening on Thursday, January 5. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

After the House voted to adjourn for the night, Rep. Kevin McCarthy told reporters that while there has been progress in negotiations, there was no timeline on when he could get to 218 votes.

McCarthy's bid for speaker -- he lost 11 votes in the House this week -- has been stymied by about 20 fellow Republicans.

“I have the longest speech on the floor so apparently I like to make history,” McCarthy said, referring to an address of 8 hours and 32 minutes he made in November 2021 aimed at stalling President Biden's plan to expand the social safety net. “If this takes a little longer, that’s OK,” he added.

McCarthy also addressed why differences weren’t resolved before Tuesday, saying “we tried to sort it out before Jan. 3.”

On the concessions he’s made so far, McCarthy said he’s not concerned about giving just one member the power to call for a vote to oust the speaker. “I’m very fine with that,” McCarthy said. “I’m not afraid. … I won’t be a weaker speaker.”

McCarthy also denied that any members would lose committee assignments and said there have been no negotiations that involved giving subcommittee chairmanships to dissidents.

9:20 p.m. ET, January 5, 2023

House GOP members scheduled to hold a conference call on Friday

From CNN's Melanie Zanona and Annie Grayer

House Republicans are scheduled to hold a conference call Friday, a source familiar tells CNN.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy and his allies had wanted to avoid another in-person conference-wide meeting after Tuesday's in-person meeting led to private tensions spilling out into public view.

But the thought is that a call could potentially minimize that, as members from all sides of the conference continue to try to come to a deal over the speakership.

9:01 p.m. ET, January 5, 2023

Here's what to know about Thursday's multiple votes for speaker

From CNN staff

Despite making key concessions to get the top job, McCarthy on Thursday was again unable to persuade enough Republicans to elect him Speaker of the House — failing to get the required majority after 11 rounds of voting that have taken place over three days.

This has been the longest contest for speaker in 164 years.

As the stalemate continues, tensions are rising. One reliably conservative GOP lawmaker told CNN about the "increasing frustration" among centrists at the number of concessions McCarthy has offered opponents as he scrambles to get to 218 votes.

Here are the key details:

  • Opposition: Twenty Republican lawmakers, despite continued talks and concessions, have so far declined to support McCarthy. Republicans again nominated Rep. Byron Donalds for four of five of Thursday’s voting rounds. After getting a few votes on the eighth ballot, Rep. Kevin Hern was also officially nominated for the ninth, 10th and 11th rounds of voting. Notably, Rep. Matt Gaetz voted for former President Donald Trump during the seventh and eighth ballots, and he nominated the former president for speaker in the 11th ballot. Trump only received one vote in that round.
  • “Present” votes: GOP Rep. Victoria Spartz, who initially voted for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, voted present on Wednesday and for all five ballots Thursday. She said at the beginning of the day she felt talks needed to make more progress and that McCarthy needed to “move the needle” first.
  • Ongoing negotiations: McCarthy allies and opponents are pushing for a deal Thursday tonight in an attempt to show progress, a source says. But, at least four Republican members are leaving town Friday because of various family issues. Lawmakers hope to have some sort of agreement tonight and then a deal to adjourn at some point over the next 24 hours in order to come back Monday, a separate source says.
  • “Motion to vacate”: In a series of new concessions first reported by CNN Wednesday night, McCarthy agreed to propose a rules change that would allow just one member to call for a vote to oust a sitting speaker, sources say. McCarthy had initially proposed a five-member threshold, down from current conference rules that require half of the GOP to call for such a vote. 
  • Other concessions: McCarthy also agreed to allow for more members of the Freedom Caucus to serve on the powerful House Rules Committee. While McCarthy’s allies are willing to swallow most of the deals, they are drawing a line in the sand over one issue: committee gavels for the holdouts. Later, in a meeting with moderates, McCarthy downplayed the concessions he’s made so far.
  • McCarthy’s thinking: Asked if he is concerned that he could be a short-lived speaker because of the concessions he’s made to give one member the power to call for a vote seeking a speaker’s ouster, McCarthy said, “No, not at all.” Thursday morning before the House reconvened, McCarthy said he feels talks are “making progress,” adding that lawmakers are “working together to find a solution.”
  • Democrats: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries continues to have the unanimous support of his caucus. He told reporters before voting started Thursday that his party does not plan to help the GOP, and will continue to be present and stand united. President Joe Biden said he is closely watching the House.
  • A historic floor fight: This is the longest speakership bid in more than 160 years. It took nine ballots for Rep. Frederick Gillett of Massachusetts to be elected speaker in 1923. And in 1849, the House had been in session so long without being able to elect a speaker – 19 days – that members voted to elect their speaker with a plurality rather than a majority. Members ultimately confirmed the plurality election with a majority vote.
8:26 p.m. ET, January 5, 2023

A marathon of speaker ballots: Here's a look at Thursday's votes

Rep. Kevin McCarthy has now failed to win a majority of votes across 11 ballots over three days in his push to become House speaker.

Despite continued talks, 20 Republicans have consistently not voted for him (up from 19 defections in the first two rounds) — and instead have nominated other candidates to take votes away from McCarthy.

The House will remain paralyzed until this standoff is resolved. It's now the longest contest in 164 years.

Here's a look at how the votes panned out on Thursday:


  • 212: Jeffries
  • 201: McCarthy
  • 19: Donalds
  • 1: Other — Trump
  • 1: Present


  • 212: Jeffries
  • 201: McCarthy
  • 17: Donalds
  • 3: Others — Trump, Rep. Kevin Hern
  • 1: Present


  • 212: Jeffries
  • 200: McCarthy
  • 17: Donalds
  • 3: Hern
  • 1: Present


  • 212: Jeffries
  • 200: McCarthy
  • 13: Donalds
  • 7: Hern
  • 1: Present


  • 212: Jeffries
  • 200: McCarthy
  • 7: Hern
  • 1: Trump
  • 12: Other — Donalds
  • 1: Present
8:08 p.m. ET, January 5, 2023

The House has voted to adjourn until Friday

The House has voted to adjourn until noon on Friday — without a clear decision on a speaker. The House cannot continue any business or swear in new members without filling the speaker role.

Lawmakers voted five times on Thursday, but Rep. Kevin McCarthy was unable to secure the votes to win the speakership.

Members say negotiations are ongoing.

8:05 p.m. ET, January 5, 2023

The House is voting on whether to adjourn until noon Friday


The House is now voting on whether or not to adjourn until noon ET on Friday.

The motion needs a simple majority to pass.

7:52 p.m. ET, January 5, 2023

McCarthy is defeated in 11th ballot for House speaker

Kevin McCarthy was defeated again in the 11th round of voting for House speaker.

This is now the longest speaker contest in 164 years.

His GOP opponents nominated two other Republicans – Rep. Kevin Hern and former President Donald Trump – to draw votes away from McCarthy.

Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries had the unanimous support of his caucus.

The final tally was:

  • 212 for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries
  • 200 for Rep. Kevin McCarthy
  • 12 Rep. Byron Donalds
  • 7 for Rep. Kevin Hern
  • 1 Donald Trump
  • 1 present vote
7:38 p.m. ET, January 5, 2023

McHenry says House is probably not going to adjourn any time soon

From CNN's Kate Sullivan, Annie Grayer and Morgan Rimmer

GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry, a key negotiator who is trying to lock in support for Rep. Kevin McCarthy for speaker, said the House is “probably not” going to adjourn any time soon. 

But he expressed optimism about the state of the negotiations. 

“Each meeting is more positive than the last. And that's a very nice sign,” McHenry told reporters as he emerged from the GOP negotiating room. 

“This is gonna be a nice evening eventually, just a question of when,” he said. 

When asked if there was a deal physically on paper he quipped, “Yeah, no, we’re not quite digital yet.” 

“What we want to do is have assurances on paper about what the process is and how to deliver these conservative reforms that I think the conference will appreciate and endorse,” he said.