Former President Donald Trump was nominated Speaker of the House on Thursday but lost heavily, failing to secure the hundreds of votes needed to take the gavel.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) nominated Trump on the seventh and eighth ballots, in a protest against Rep. Kevin McCarthy (California), the top House Republican who is facing a conservative revolt over his candidacy for the presidency. Gaetz was the only lawmaker to vote for Trump.
“It ends two ways: either Kevin McCarthy retires from racing or we build a straitjacket that he is unable to pull himself out of,” Gaetz said journalists then.
Nothing in the US Constitution says the president must be a sitting member of the House. But a non-member becoming a speaker is seen as extremely unlikely, and Gaetz’s vote was seen as little more than a stunt.
Trump has urged GOP lawmakers to support McCarthy, phoning individual members who are resisting his leadership.
“Republicans, don’t turn a great triumph into a giant, embarrassing defeat. It’s time to party, you deserve it. Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, maybe even a great job – just watch! Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social on Wednesday.
The anti-McCarthy faction — which includes as many as 20 GOP lawmakers — did not take his advice. Nor were they swayed by several key concessions McCarthy allegedly made to House procedure.
“The president needs to tell Kevin McCarthy that, sir, you don’t have the votes and it’s time to stand down,” Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), a staunch Trump supporter, said Wednesday.
Trump is not the first ex-president to receive votes in a presidential election. John Quincy Adams has received two votes in the 1835 election for Speaker, although he was a Representative in the House at the time.
Trump is, however, the first president who tried to overturn the results of a presidential election he lost, and thus the first president who did so and was subsequently nominated for a high-level government position. American.
The House has not needed more than one ballot to elect a Speaker since December 1923. This election ended after nine ballots – and this week’s House fiasco is expected to break that record. In 1855, the process took 133 ballots and two months to settle.