The third day was not the charm. Hardline conservative Republican lawmakers have blocked fellow Rep. Kevin McCarthy through 11 straight votes.
It marks the lengthiest search for a speaker in 159 years.
McCarthy’s team insists there has been progressing in negotiations with the holdouts, but whether it’s the breakthrough the California Republican so desperately needs is far from certain.
After the 11th ballot, the House adjourned for the third time this week without electing a speaker.
The House reconvened Friday with an increasingly anguished McCarthy offering more concessions to the holdouts to try to secure the 218 votes he needs.
The voting propelled the House to a level of dysfunction not seen since the turbulent era just before the Civil War, even after McCarthy offered to curb his own clout, raising questions about the party’s ability to wield power.
Hardline Republicans have dug in against McCarthy’s House speaker bid.
There are some reports that there are signs of a possible deal to end the impasse. But while it reflects “considerable momentum” for McCarthy, the expectation is he “will not get all the votes necessary to become speaker”, reports say.
Moderate Republicans are also growing restless after three straight days of voting. McCarthy has failed to show any progress towards the winning threshold, and a group of 20 House Republicans has consistently voted against him.
There is, therefore, something of a “make or break” feel to Friday’s proceedings.