McCarthy failed to secure a majority of votes for speaker in the first round of voting. McCarthy is the first House party leader in a century to fail to secure that benchmark. The speaker position is unique in Congress, sitting outside of partisan alignment and representing an entire body. McCarthy saw 31 members of his caucus vote for someone else for his position. In the first two votes for speaker, there were 19 similar defections. Were he seeking a speaker-like position in the Senate, he’d have secured only 37 percent support.
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