House Republicans flailed through a long second day of fruitless balloting Wednesday, unable to either elect their leader Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker or come up with a new strategy to end the political chaos that has tarnished the start of their new majority.
Yet McCarthy wasn’t giving up, even after the fourth, fifth and sixth votes produced no better outcome and he was left trying to call off a nighttime session. Even that was controversial, as the House voted 216-214 - amid shouting and jostling - to adjourn for the night.
“No deal yet,” McCarthy said, shortly before he left a lengthy closed-door dinnertime meeting with key holdouts and his own allies.
“But a lot of progress”.
The ballots produced almost the same outcome, 20 conservative holdouts still refusing to support him and leaving him far short of the 218 typically needed to win the gavel.
McCarthy, the California Republican, vowed to fight to the finish for the Speaker's job despite the grueling spectacle, unlike any in modern times, that threw the new majority into tumult for the first days of the new Congress. Animated private discussions broke out on the chamber floor and in huddled meetings throughout the Capitol between McCarthy supporters and detractors.
“Well, it’s Groundhog Day,” Representative Kat Cammack said.
For more watch Euronews' report in the video above.