Kevin McCarthy is still not elected Speaker, after three days of ballots trying to win party votes. In fact, his numbers are getting worse.

Kevin McCarthy, Republican representative for California, has been a minority and majority leader for his party under several Speakers, and strongly feels it’s now his turn for the top Congressional seat. But he needs 218 votes to put him in it, and he’s just not getting them.

If the Republican members of the House of Representatives were voting in sync, he’d be fine, but the so-called Freedom Caucus, a group of conservatives who have backed Donald Trump’s illegal claims to the presidency and want to shrink the power of the speaker’s office, have been blocking him by voting for other candidates.

So far, the matter has gone to vote 11 times, setting and breaking a record over a hundred years old, and gone into its third day. Late Thusday night, Republicans finally cooperated enough to vote… for an adjournment, so members can rest and return on Friday to continue trying.

Provisions have been tossed into the pot to try to sway holdout voters, including mandatory reviewing time before bills can come to a vote, and a promise to work towards a constitutional amendment that would put federal term limits on Congress members.

Until a Speaker of the House is elected, the House cannot open for the new session, which means many aspects of the federal government are currently at a standstill while this goes on.

Of particular concern to the moderate Republicans who have been voting for McCarthy is that the Democrat candidate for Speaker, Jeffries of New York, has been getting more votes each time. But he hasn’t come up o that magical 218 either. Still, if only six Republicans abdicate the fight and vote for Jeffries, there could be a Democrat Speaker despite a Republican majority. In contrast, McCarthy needs 18 more votes.

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