fails to get the votes to become Speaker of the House

(CNN) — Kevin McCarthy failed to obtain the votes for speaker of the House of Representatives in the eighth round of voting this Thursday, in which 20 Republican legislators again voted against him.

The final tally was 212 votes for Hakeem Jeffries, 201 for McCarthy, 17 for Byron Donalds, 2 for Hern, 1 for Donald Trump, and one present vote.

For his part, the Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries had the unanimous support of his caucus.

Following the vote, McCarthe was nominated by Republican Troy Nehls of Texas for a ninth ballot.

This Thursday’s defeat is striking, especially after the Republican agreed a day before to make more key concessions in his campaign to obtain 218 votes.

Among the changes the hardline bloc was demanding was a rule change that would allow only one member to call a vote to oust a sitting president, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

McCarthy’s candidacy

The eighth ballot came after McCarthy was nominated by Rep. Brian Mast of Florida.

Mast said that when the discussion over who would be speaker began behind closed doors months ago, he urged McCarthy to see members’ votes as a signal to their communities that they vouch for the Republican leader.

“Look at us as individuals who are taking care of our communities, our neighborhoods, our friends, our neighbors and our country and we’re telling you that we’re vouching for you, because that’s what we’re doing,” Mast said.

“And I couldn’t be more proud to be here today vouching for you, my friend,” he added.

The Republican majority, plunged into chaos

The House Republican majority is locked in an impasse over opposition to McCarthy from a group of conservatives. The fight, which began on the first day of the 118th Congress, has thrown the House’s new Republican majority into chaos and undermined the party’s agenda.

The Chamber will remain paralyzed until this conflict is resolved. The situation is dire for McCarthy’s political future, as his Republican allies begin to fear that he will not win his bid for president if the fight goes much further.

It’s still not entirely clear whether McCarthy and his allies will be able to secure the votes, and the longer the fight drags on, the more in jeopardy his presidential bid will be.

House Republicans have 222 seats in the new Congress, so for McCarthy to reach 218 votes he can only afford to lose four Republican votes. The challenge for him is that he is up against a small but determined contingent of hardline conservatives who have so far succeeded in denying him votes to secure the House deck.

Editor’s note: this article was updated after the eighth round of voting.

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