Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy has emerged as the elected Speaker of the United States’ House of Representatives.
McCarthy emerged in the early hours of Saturday after 15 rounds of voting overcoming the opposition of right-wing rebels who had upset his bid to lead the chamber for several days.
The Californian veteran politician eventually secured the House’s gavel today after gathering 216 of the 428 votes cast late on Friday, Reuters said.
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Hakeem Jeffries, who succeeded Nancy Pelosi as The Democrats’ leader, got 212 votes.
“My father always told me, it’s now how you start, it’s how you finish,” McCarthy said in his first speech.
“Our system is built on checks and balances. It’s time for us to be a check and provide some balance to the president’s policies,” he added.
With McCarthy finally ascending to the speaker’s chair, the House will finally start swearing in newly elected lawmakers and the 2023-24 session can commence.
It was the first time in a century that a speaker was not elected in the first round.
McCarthy’s speakership bid appeared up in the air before the House meeting on Friday. He had been negotiating with right-wing dissenters after three days of failure to secure a majority.
Republicans only narrowly took control of the House after a disappointing midterm election performance in November that saw Democrats retain control of the United States Senate.