Kevin McCarthy is the 55th Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The California Republican finally nailed down the speaker’s gavel after fourteen votes in which he failed to secure the position.
McCarthy was elected speaker in the 15th vote for the position, early on Saturday morning, according to The Washington Post.
He only needed 216 votes in the final, conclusive vote.
Five House members voted present, which lowered the threshold for McCarthy’s simple majority.
BREAKING: Republican Kevin McCarthy elected House Speaker after 15 rounds of votes pic.twitter.com/XMrO1uxdvB
— Katie Daviscourt🇺🇸 (@KatieDaviscourt) January 7, 2023
The late-night votes followed a breakthrough for McCarthy on Friday, in which 15 of his Republican opponents cast their votes for the caucus leader following negotiations in which McCarthy promised reforms to the rules of the House.
Even the final vote that preceded McCarthy’s election saw its share of drama.
McCarthy directly confronted Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz after he failed to secure the gavel by one vote, with Gaetz voting ‘present’ in that tally.
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 7, 2023
In his own interaction with Gaetz, Alabama GOP Rep. Mike Rogers was physically restrained by North Carolina Rep. Rich Hudson, also a Republican, after McCarthy came up short in the 14th vote for the office.
— Josh Bergeron (@Joshpberg) January 7, 2023
Hudson appeared to grab Rodgers by the face in the altercation.
As tensions boiled over on the House floor during the speaker votes, Republican Mike Rogers of Alabama started to charge toward Matt Gaetz before Richard Hudson physically pulled him back.
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 7, 2023
President Joe Biden congratulated McCarthy on his election in a statement released before he had been officially sworn in.
Statement from President Joe Biden on the Election of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House pic.twitter.com/dGb9UlBQMY
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 7, 2023
The 15 rounds of voting it took to elect McCarthy amounted to the lengthiest election for a speaker since before the Civil War, according to the Post.
McCarthy was sworn in as speaker after a floor speech that invoked the historical legacy of Abraham Lincoln, and made reference to the everyday families of McCarthy’s Bakersfield-area California district.
After taking his place as speaker, McCarthy swore in the House members of the 118th Congress.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.