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Kevin McCarthy flips 13 no votes on day 4 of the feverish House speaker fight, the first sign of progress after a week of frantic negotiating but he’s still short of claiming victory

Kevin McCarthyRepublican Rep.-elect Kevin McCarthy talks with Rep.-elect Andy Ogles of Tennessee who has repeatedly voted against him for speaker.

Andrew Harnik/AP

  • Kevin McCarthy lost his 12th speaker ballot Friday.
  • The California Republican managed to flip more than half of the holdouts who’ve blocked him so far.
  • The converts are still reviewing rules changes McCarthy has promised in exchange for the gavel. 

Rep.-elect Kevin McCarthy lost his twelfth bid to become House speaker on Friday but managed to peel off more than half of the 20 dissenters who’ve kept his leadership quest on hold while slowly stripping him of power. 

The pickups by the California Republican’s camp marked the first momentum shift in his direction after 11 straight defeats. McCarthy predicted that the reversal of fortune on his way into the chamber, telling congressional reporters that a long night of “sitting and talking” with GOP holdouts demanding more say in the 118th Congress would finally bear fruit. 

“Watch here and you’ll see some people who have been voting against me voting for me,” McCarthy told reporters at the US Capitol.

McCarthy wound up with 214 votes — marking the first team he eclipsed Democratic Rep.-elect Hakeem Jeffries’ standing 212 votes — but shy of the 218 votes required to secure the speakership.

Read the original article on Business Insider