Matt Gaetz, Republican US House representative from Florida’s first congressional district, voted for former president Donald Trump in the ongoing speaker elections for the House. A well-known Trump ally, Gaetz did not vote for Kevin McCarthy, the GOP candidate for the post, and instead chose to stick with the former president on Thursday.
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The rules for the speakership elections say that House members can vote for anyone irrespective of whether they are members of the House or not. They can also protest that vote by skipping it or voting ‘present’.
The House is in its third day of speakership elections and has thus far failed to elect one decisively. The Republicans, who took over the House during the midterms, are in a stalemate as McCarthy is now in the eighth round of voting after losing the seventh one.
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His recent nomination came from another Florida representative, Brian Mast, who was elected from the 18th congressional district.
“Look at us as individuals that are looking out to our communities, our neighborhoods, our friends, our neighbors, and our country and telling them that we vouch for you, because that is what we are doing,” Mas said explaining his decision to back McCarthy even though he failed to get elected for seven rounds.
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“And I couldn’t be more proud to stand here today and vouch for you my friend,” he added.
In the seventh round, McCarthy received 201 votes, which is 11 short of Hakeem Jeffries, who came out as the leading cndidate.