Democrats Select Hakeem Jeffries as House Speaker, But Republicans Nominate Byron Donalds Instead

Republicans in the House have attempted to nominate a Black congressman for Speaker of the House in an apparent attempt to block a much more senior lawmaker who has claimed to be entitled to the role.

Favor of Becoming Speaker of the House

Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida garnered 20 votes on Wednesday in favor of becoming Speaker of the House. While it may sound insignificant and is undoubtedly short of the 218 votes required to be elected, it was just enough to defeat House Minority Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who has drawn the ire of some of the most hard-line Republicans in Congress.

The votes placed Donalds, who was reelected in November, in a position where he might theoretically — but improbably — become the first Black Speaker of the House. The change occurred the day after Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a lawmaker from New York, was selected by Democrats to be the House Minority Speaker, bringing the first Black person to head a party in Congress closer to reality.

As of right now, both Democrats and Republicans nominated Black people to head their parties in Congress for the first time in American history on Thursday.

If Donalds and Jeffries both win, it will be the first time that Black people are in charge of both chambers of Congress, upping the racial stakes.

Following three Republican efforts on Tuesday that all ended without McCarthy declaring victory, the first vote on Thursday was held. The results of a sixth vote on Wednesday were identical, as House Republicans continued to plunge further into the historically uncharted waters of hesitation that are preventing the 118th Congress from starting and the swearing in of its members.

Donalds was nominated by Texas Rep. Chip Roy on Thursday, inspiring fellow Republicans to support the congressman running for a second term.

Sixth Vote

After six rounds of voting on the speakership ended in a tie, the House decided to adjourn for the second time that day on Wednesday. Republican leader Kevin McCarthy claimed he needed more time to talk. It will pick up again at noon. Thursday, ET.

Driving the news: “I believe it’s generally preferable to give folks more time to consider things through. Before the second vote to adjourn, McCarthy remarked, “I don’t think a vote today makes any difference, but votes in the future will.

Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) nominated Donalds, Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) nominated Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.) nominated McCarthy during the sixth vote on Wednesday.

McCarthy was nominated by Republican Rep. Warren Davidson of Ohio, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York was nominated by Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar, and Donalds was nominated by Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado.

Aguilar once again put forward Jeffries as her candidate for House speaker in the fourth round of voting, while Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.) put forth McCarthy. Donalds was proposed as speaker by Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas). In at least one round of voting on Tuesday, Roy and Donalds both opposed McCarthy’s candidacy.