Republican frontrunner is named as new speaker of US House of Representatives as he quells a rebellion among his party's ranks that had paralysed lower chamber of Congress for four days.
Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has become House speaker after the chamber convened for a historic 15th vote following a gruelling four-day standoff that has tested American democracy and the GOP majority's ability to govern.
Before the vote late on Friday, McCarthy had flipped 15 conservative holdouts to become supporters, including the chairman of the chamber's Freedom Caucus, leaving him just a few shy of seizing the gavel for the new Congress.
The House gavelled in late in the night, giving time for last-minute negotiations and for absent Republican colleagues time to return to Washington if their votes were needed.
McCarthy declared to reporters that he believed "we'll have the votes to finish this once and for all."
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Kevin McCarthy of California elected House speaker, taking gavel for new GOP majority eager to confront President Biden pic.twitter.com/w9bcjbJIHj— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) January 7, 2023
The stunning turnaround came after McCarthy agreed to many of the detractors' demands — including the reinstatement of a longstanding House rule that would allow any single member to call a vote to oust him from office.
McCarthy is billed to emerge as a weakened speaker, having given away some powers and constantly under the threat of being booted by his detractors.
But he could also be emboldened as a survivor of one of the more brutal fights for the gavel in US history. Not since the Civil War era has a speaker's vote dragged through so many rounds of voting.
The showdown that has stymied the new Congress came against the backdrop of the second anniversary of the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, which shook the country when a mob of then-president Donald Trump's supporters tried to stop Congress from certifying the Republican's 2020 election defeat to Democrat Joe Biden.
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