Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy has been elected speaker of the House of Representatives, It was the first time in a century that a speaker was not elected in the first round,
overcoming the opposition of right-wing dissenters who had derailed for several days his bid to lead the chamber.
It took 15 rounds of voting for McCarthy to secure the House’s gavel, securing 216 of the 428 votes cast late on Friday. The Democrats’ Hakeem Jeffries 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 begin.
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.