Last Updated on January 4, 2023
A sixth ballot in the U.S. Speaker of the House battle produced the same results as ballot five, with 20 Republicans voting for U.S. Rep. Byron Donald’s (R-FL) and one additional “present” vote from U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN). Many expected the sixth ballot to produce at least one more McCarthy defector in U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), though this did not come to pass as Buck again voted for McCarthy.
Earlier in the day, it was reported that Buck told Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) that he should cut a deal with dissenting members.
“McCarthy has a problem: KEN BUCK just told us that he told McCarthy he needs to cut a deal or step aside & let people like STEVE SCALISE try,” reported Rachael Bade of Politico. “And he thinks this needs to happen TODAY. If he doesn’t, Buck indicated he may no longer support for McCarthy, another possible vote lost.”
McCarthy did indeed lose yet again on the sixth ballot as 21 Republicans did not vote for him.
Buck soon confirmed his plan in an interview Jake Tapper of CNN. “I am voting on this vote for Kevin McCarthy, stay tuned and I’ll let you know what I’m going to be doing in the future,” he said.
“So this is the last time he can count on your vote, the fifth ballot?” Tapper asked, to which Buck replied in the affirmative.
Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), who’s so far supported Kevin McCarthy every ballot, warns McCarthy is running out of time:
“At some point this needs to break loose. He either needs to make a deal to bring [them] over or he needs to step aside and give somebody else a chance to do that.” pic.twitter.com/y1S9nayh7d
— The Recount (@therecount) January 4, 2023
When Buck’s name was called, however, he was not present in the chamber, thus pushing his vote back to the end. When called upon again, the Colorado congressman was again late to voting, though he did cast his ballot for McCarthy at the last minute. Rep. Spartz then voted “present” once again just moments later.
The battle for House Speaker is set to continue at 8 p.m. ET after the chamber voted to adjourn following the sixth ballot.