Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) promised on Thursday to stay in the race for Speaker of the House despite not receiving enough votes in multiple rounds of voting.
CNN asked the congressman when he’d realize he didn’t have enough votes to become speaker, McCarthy said, “After I win.”
McCarthy also addressed the House floor impasse. For three days, 20 House conservatives have voted against him in every round of voting.
“It’s all going to be this way until an agreement comes,” he said.
McCarthy must persuade 16 Republicans to support him to win the speakership vote. If all Democrats show up and vote on the House floor, his margin of error is four votes.
McCarthy has attempted to reach an agreement with conservatives. He granted more than 15 requests from conservative holdouts to become speaker, albeit some of the concessions are not enforceable, according to his detractors.
McCarthy announced four new concessions on Wednesday. These include allowing a single member motion to force a vote to remove a speaker instead of five; increasing the number of House Freedom Caucus members on the House Rules Committee (two seats); promising to hold votes on lawmaker term limit and border security bills; and allowing major changes to the appropriations process to prevent another omnibus bill by allowing any lawmaker to offer floor amendments.
Despite recent compromises, many of the 20 conservatives have remained staunchly opposed to McCarthy.
The House will continue to vote until a member-elect obtains the required votes. There can be no other House action before the House elects a leader.
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