In US House speaker fight, Trump gets one vote, members laugh. Watch

Updated on Jan 06, 2023 05:30 PM IST

Gaetz had formally nominated Trump to be House speaker on the 11th round of voting.

Former US President Donald Trump(AFP)
Former US President Donald Trump(AFP)
By | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan, New Delhi

Donald Trump's name was met with laughter Thursday after he secured one vote - out of more than 430 - as the United States' House of Representatives' chaotic efforts to elect a new Speaker trudges unsuccessfully into a historic fifth day and 12th round of voting.

Watch: 'Loser': Trump secures one vote in U.S House Speaker race, Legislators erupt in laughter | Viral

The race to control the lower chamber is now the longest in 164 years with various factions of Republicans unable to unit behind GOP candidate Kevin McCarthy. Trump's sole vote came from Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, who plumped for the former president as a 'symbolic but pointed sign of the broad divisions over the Republican Party's future'.

Gaetz had formally nominated Trump to be House speaker on the 11th round of voting.

In a video shared by American journalist Aaron Rupar, House clerk Cheryl Johnson read out the votes from the 11th round of votes. "The honorable Donald J Trump of Florida has received one [vote]," she can be heard saying, after which there is a chorus of laughter.

The Republicans claimed a narrow House majority in November - a nine-seat margin that should have allowed McCarthy a relatively easy ride to the Speaker's chair.

However, since then internal rifts and dvides have reared their head, meaning McCarthy has now lost multiple rounds of voting despite critical concessions to hardline members of his party that are widely expected to make his tenure and governance a real challenge.

The Republican from California, however, has soaked up these moments without visible concern, and was quoted as saying, "Apparently, I like to make history."

After Thursday's failure he said, "I’m not putting any time on it..."

At least 20 Republicans have held out so far, giving the Democrats - who control the Senate by the narrowest of margins thanks to vice president Kamala Harris' casting vote - hope.

The House will reconvene Friday but no speakership contest has gone more than nine rounds since the Civil War era. In 1923, Frederick Gillett, a Massachusetts Republican, was elected after nine ballots. The last multi-ballot vote before that was in 1859, when 44 votes were needed. Only six other elections have taken over 10 ballots. The election of a Speaker is the first order of business for House members, and they can do nothing else till that.

(With agency inputs)

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    A journalist with 4+ years with digital media, Shubhangi Gupta covers political, world, and business news for Hindustan Times, New Delhi.

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