McCarthy voted Speaker of House in chaotic session, 15 rounds of voting, and physical restraint of a member


After four days of Republican dysfunction and 15 rounds of voting, the Freedom Caucus paved the way for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a Republican son of a firefighter from Bakersfield, Calif., to be elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. The victory came after midnight on Jan. 7.

Alaska freshman Democrat Rep. Mary Peltola, although having made statements to the press that she would help form a bipartisan coalition, voted for radical Queens, N.Y. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the Democrat nominee, every one of the 15 times her name was called, ensuring that Alaska will be in the minority in Congress, as control switches over to the Republicans.

The final vote went late into Friday night and was filled with shouting, finger-pointing by Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, and drama. In the end, McCarthy received 216 votes, one more than the 215 votes needed to win on that ballot, because six conservative members called the Freedom Caucus simply voted “present.”

The floor proceedings became chaotic at one critical juncture on Friday when a clearly worn-out Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Alabama, angrily burst into a group that centered around Freedom Caucus member Rep. Gaetz and Rep. McCarthy, who were negotiating, surrounded by their supporters. As Rogers lunged in to tell Gaetz what he though of him, Rep. Richard Hudson, R-North Carolina, laid his hands firmly on Rogers’s shoulders and yanked him back, at one point smashing his hand over Rogers’ face and pulling him away forcibly.

Dramatic debate continued past midnight on Friday, as Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida negotiated with Rep. Kevin McCarthy. Watch as things get physical when Rep. Hudson pulls Rep. Rogers away forcibly by smashing his face with Hudson’s large hand.

Although some members wanted to gavel out until Monday, several key Republicans had at that point asked McCarthy to ask for one more vote. McCarthy asked two of his supporters to return to the Capitol, and Gaetz and five other Freedom Caucus members voted present, allowing McCarthy to win in a tension-filled chambers filled with tired lawmakers.

In the upper left corner of this screenshot taken from the CSPAN video above, Rep. Richard Hudson pulls Rep. Mike Rogers from a Republican negotiation that was key to getting the vote for McCarthy as speaker

McCarthy is an ideological moderate who has led the Republican minority for several years. During the most recent midterm elections, he angered some members of the Freedom Caucus wing of the minority by working to unseat them in their House races. He had the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, but that endorsement held no sway with some of the 20-ish members of the Freedom Caucus.

McCarthy, upon being given the gavel by Rep. Jeffries, gave some prepared remarks: “It’s time for us to be a check and provide some balance to the president’s policies. We commit to stop wasteful Washington spending, to lower the price of groceries, gas, cars, housing, and stop the rising national debt.”

But the deal he made to get there with the Freedom Caucus appears to diminish the powers of the Speaker, giving the Freedom Caucus more ability to disrupt the order of business, if they choose. The bad blood between McCarthy and Gaetz makes that appear likely. Former Speaker Pelosi called it “the incredibly shrinking speakership.”

One of the concessions made by McCarthy is to allow any member to call for an immediate vote at any time to oust the speaker, which McCarthy earlier viewed as simply a political death warrant.


  1. The political death warrant you wrote of in your article existed for decades even recently. The concessions requested by the Freedom Caucus were not out of line at all. In fact they are reasonable, just not swampy. We should be proud that our political system actually worked as it should have. Our only complaint should be that the “moderate” Peltola showed her true blue color which will be detrimental to Alaska. So much for her campaign promises…

  2. We owe a lot of gratitude to the super 6 and talented 20 that finally brought the House back to normal after the abusive power grabs of Pelosi, Ryan, and Boehner.

  3. And it will be business as usual. The FBI CIA DOJ will still spy on American taxpayers. The demos will still dictate what’s going to happen and us conservatives will still wonder what happened. Fair elections won’t happen.

  4. I have a hard time even caring about this whole speakership voting thing. I’m no McCarthy fan as I see him as just another swamp creature. I do think the McCarthy group was stupid in bring up FIFTEEN votes before they figured out whether they had enough positive votes. But, at least there was some good debates/wrangling going on, and lots of it avoided the dreaded ‘backroom deal’. Better than some far left lunatic, I guess.

    My prediction is that McCarthy resigns within the year.

    • Paul, McCarthy made a dozen deals/concessions behind closed doors to get the votes! The whole thing is cloaked in mystery—some reporting on the themes, but no details like what representatives were promised seats on what committees. This is Kevin operating as Kevin to appease the Freedom Caucus and because of their own desire for power, they’ve ingratiated themselves into the system they supposedly hate. MTG is a prominent example with her “MAGA grift” and McCarthy loyalty.

    • What a spectacular crap show. I was genuinely concerned they were gonna give it away to the left.

      Another stupidhead was Matt Gaetz. While Roy and Jordan were acting on principles, Matt was grandstanding.

      I agree except in one part. McCarthy wanted this badly enough to suffer through near historic humiliation.

      Can’t see him giving it up willingly.

  5. McCarthy comes out of the gate lying. He vows to cut unnecessary spending but wholeheartedly supports funding the corrupt Ukrainian government to the tune of 100 billion dollars & counting! Swamp scum.

  6. Best part of this is we have Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro, and Don Don Trump are shown to be nothing but swamp creatures that backed McCarthy and many denigrated these 20 good conservatives.

        • Lucinda, I absolutely do! And frankly, did from the beginning.
          That fact that I (reluctantly) voted for him for president in 2020 — you know, in the election that was stolen from him by Usurper Biden’s puppetmasters — is and was in no way an endorsement of Trump, but merely a reflection of my complete contempt and loathing for China Joe.

  7. We can all thank Sarah for delivering us with Peltola. I told you over and over that Sarah was nothing but trouble for Republicans. Now do you believe me???

  8. Having been “up close” to multiple legislatives bodies over the years, it all comes down to votes – what will a majority support? At those moments, political labels and even political philosophies do not count. Majority votes produce legislative action. In the US House in recent decades groups of minority members have provided critical votes to enact legislation. It has happened regardless of which party is in the majority. Ideological puritans on the right have taken a pound of flesh from Speaker McCarthy over the last week. They have some power at the moment. As the 118th Congress draws to a close in 2024, they will likely have less power as majorities are assembled to pass legislation. The “majority rules” is the central idea of a democracy. Winning elections is therefore really important (and ideological purity is less important).

    I have spent some time in Bakersfield, California. Kevin McCarthy is by, from and of Bakersfield. Is Bakersfield a perfect shining city on a hill? With apologies to the Freedom Caucus, I say “certainly not”. But is a good place with many good people. I think we are in good hands.

      • An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.

        Bill, you are a troll. How does that work for you, exactly?

        • That was a public service recommendation for you JMARK. The rest of your above rant was of no use to anyone IMO.
          Pretty clear to me that you’ve likely suffered from this air pollution that has resulted in such gems as: “In the US House in recent decades groups of minority members have provided critical votes to enact legislation.” Please give us some more of this sort of insight but also try to make it seem like you’ve not suffered serious lack of oxygen issues.

  9. Now that’s settled, House must respect their new Speaker’s leadership. I hope they don’t act like our anchorage assembly like a contentious woman to our mayor. Such as “it is better to live in a corner of the house shared with a quarelsome wife” -can be a husband too- prov 21:9 “a hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention” -that one is for allard and constant and demboski prov 15:18, “a man of violence entices his neighbor and leads him in a way not good”prov 16:29, “a dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer seperates close friends prov 16:2, our leaders could learn this one “make no
    friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare,” prov 22:25. Bible has plenty to say about a man or woman being quarrelsome and fretful.

  10. I appreciated McCarthy remarks inviting Americans to visit DC. I won’t do it tho because most people want the hierarchical opportunity to enslave or imprison one’s fellow man at whim. It is a craven value espoused generally by anti-Trump Democrats or anti-US Constitutional types and it will be long time to heal that trend. Jesus will heal it after years of spiritual retraining (the spiritually trainable).

    • Ferguson, Missouri.
      Portland, Oregon.
      Chaz District, Seattle.
      Chicago 2020 (and 1968).
      Washington, D.C., June of 2020, historic church torched and buildings damaged.
      Democrats, all of them. Just a handful for you to research in your evidently lengthy spare time.

  11. McCarthy COULD HAVE made small concessions with centrist Democrats and won easily, rather than empty Gaetz’s chamber pot. Americans want civility and an end to divisiveness. Only Trump has a larger ego than McCArthy, and, like Trump, will act only in his self interest.

    • You actually believe what you write?? There are no centrist democrats years ago they were called blue dog democrats. They do not exist in todays democrat party. Peltola is no centrist/blue dog democrat.

      • And the fact that in recent years, 98% of ALL congressional votes have the Democrats voting in perfect lockstep and conformity with each other, is a perfect verification of the truth of your assertion, JW.

    • You know nothing about McCarthy’s ego. You are projecting. You’d hate any speaker that was not a Democrat and we all know that about you.

    • You are living in a propaganda echo chamber and completely miss the point. First off, Trump will go down in history as the greatest President this nation ever had because he governed for the people and according to the U.S. Constitution, which is the “Law of the Land!” The swamp uses the Constitution as an afterthought in conversation, not basing their decisions on it. They have abused their power and authority and plot against the American people. Matt Gaetz and those standing with him are American heroes! They are desperately striving to return to constitutional government, for the people and by the people. The corporatocracy hates this and will fight to the end to hold onto their power to direct legislation that will fill their pockets. Americans want civility, yes, but not at the expense of Law and Order. Not at the expense of their children’s future. Not at the expense of Liberty!


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