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Kevin McCarthy rushes to solidify his speaker bid as the vote approaches.

McCarthy can afford to lose only four Republicans in Tuesday’s vote. If he loses on the first ballot, it would be a first-round defeat for a House speaker in a century. McCarthy met with key lawmakers Monday evening to walk them through what to expect Tuesday. McCarthy intends to stay on the House floor for as long as it takes to get elected speaker, sources say. McCarthy’s potential failure to clinch the necessary votes could derail his 16-year congressional career. “He’s ripped the steering wheel out of the dashboard,” one lawmaker says of McCarthy privately.