McCarthy fails in two votes for House speaker, not conceding

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks after a closed-door meeting with the GOP Conference as he pursues the speaker of the House role when as the 118th Congress convenes, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is falling far short in voting to become House speaker.

House Republicans fell into a tangle on the opening day of the new Congress, refusing to elect McCarthy by more than a dozen votes in two rounds. McCarthy is fighting to become speaker as his party takes slim control of the chamber.

The mood was tense as voting by all House members left McCarthy well short of the majority he needed. McCarthy was battling right-flank conservatives who refuse to give him their votes.

The showdown was in stark contrast to the other side of the U.S. Capitol, where Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell was set to become the longest-serving party leader.

Democrat Chuck Schumer will remain majority leader.

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