A deadlocked chamber of lawmakers on Capitol Hill decided that more voting would not be. productive after six rounds of it on Wednesday and a day of voting on Tuesday did not yield enough to elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House speaker.
Lawmakers decided to adjourn just before 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday after six rounds of voting failed to come to a resolution.
The House decided to take the break for just a few hours, until 8 p.m. ET, after Rep. McCarthy failed to gain a majority of the vote for the entire day after the chamber reconvened at noon after an unsuccessful previous day.
In each of the Wednesday rounds, McCarthy appeared unwilling to give up and tried to avoid a night time session as the House voted 216-214.
Shouting could be heard as lawmakers gathers in groups, and then, eventually, it was decided to adjourn for the night as more discussions happened behind closed doors.
"I don’t think a vote tonight would make any difference. But, a vote in the future could,” McCarthy said.
The House now has its hands tied, and lawmakers cannot continue with their work until a speaker has been elected.
After multiple failed attempts to pick a House speaker on Tuesday and at least six on Wednesday, the House remains without a speaker and unable to conduct business.
At one point, 20 Republicans had voted for Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, with Indiana Rep. Victoria Spartz voting present.
As for Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, he held the support of his entire caucus.
Tuesday marked the first time in a century that the House did not elect a speaker on the first ballot.
Kevin McCarthy, who has been the Republican leader, could not garner the 218 votes needed among his 222-member caucus to become speaker. In the first two rounds of balloting on Tuesday, McCarthy lost 19 votes. And on the third round of balloting, Jim Jordan got 20 votes.
Jordan said he didn't want to become speaker and handed his support to McCarthy.
Jordan is likely to become the Judiciary Committee chair under a McCarthy speakership.
McCarthy received a noteworthy endorsement on Wednesday. Former President Donald Trump posted on social media that he continued to endorse McCarthy for the speaker role.
Trump's endorsement was not enough to sway members after the first two rounds of voting on Wednesday. Rep. Byron Donalds was nominated by anti-McCarthy Republicans as balloting went to a sixth round.
All Democrats voted in favor of Hakeem Jeffries, who will assume the role of minority leader.
Electing a speaker is generally one of the first actions the House must do before organizing for the term. Once a speaker is elected, items such as committee chairs and agendas can be decided.
Without a speaker, the House is unable to function.
The speaker of the House also falls just below the vice president on the presidential line of succession.