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Kevin McCarthy has won the Republican nomination for Speaker by a secret-ballot vote of 188 to 31.
This doesn’t mean the role is going to be a shoe-in for McCarthy, however. With Republicans winning the house it is likely that the next speaker will be a Republican, but a candidate still needs to get 218 votes. With the GOP winning the house by a razor-thin margin and 31 representatives voting against McCarthy, McCarthy is going to have a very rocky path to become the next Speaker.
McCarthy faced an 11th hour challenge from Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, who is a member of the House Freedom Caucus. Biggs announced his bid to run for the nomination Monday night, and told Newsmax in an interview that “we have a new paradigm here, and I think the country wants a different direction from the House of Representatives.”
Andy Biggs also went on the Glenn Beck radio program yesterday morning and claimed that 10-15 members will never support McCarthy.
There is a few ways that this could go between now and when the new congress and Speaker takes over in January. McCarthy will be forced to try to make deals with the House Freedom Caucus to win over their support, such as legislation on funding the government, the debt ceiling, and including Freedom Caucus members in leadership roles.
If McCarthy is still unable to get the 218 votes needed, McCarthy may end up withdrawing his nomination so that House Republicans could rally around a new nominee that is able to get the votes required.