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Republican Kevin McCarthy is the new speaker of the US House.

Republican Kevin McCarthy is the new speaker of the US House.

Kevin McCarthy, a Republican congressman, has been chosen as speaker of the House of Representatives, defeating right-wing dissenters who had prevented him from becoming speaker for several days.

McCarthy finally won the gavel of the House after 15 rounds of voting, garnering 216 of the 428 votes cast late on Friday. Hakeem Jeffries of the Democrats received 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.

The 2023–24 legislative session can start after McCarthy assumes the speakership and the House begins swearing in newly elected representatives.

A speaker was not chosen in the first round for the first time in a century.

Before the House meeting on Friday, McCarthy's bid for speaker seemed uncertain. After three days of trying to get a majority but failing, he was negotiating with right-wing rebels.

After a poor midterm election showing in November that saw Democrats maintain control of the United States Senate, Republicans narrowly won control of the House.

McCarthy, a Californian, takes Nancy Pelosi's place as the senior lawmaker's successor after she declared her intention to leave the Democratic House leadership last month. Jeffries, a Democrat from Upcoming York, will lead the House's minority in the new Congress.

McCarthy had already vowed to use his new position to scuttle Democratic plans and step up scrutiny of President Joe Biden's administration.

The Republicans won a slim 222-212 majority in the midterm elections in November, giving the right-wing hardliners who oppose McCarthy's leadership a sizable amount of authority.

Republican Kevin McCarthy elected US House speaker
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) bangs the Speaker's gavel for the first time after being elected the next Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in a late night 15th round of voting on the fourth day of the 118th Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 7, 2023. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
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