GOP leader McCarthy elected House Speaker on 15th vote in historic run

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This was CNBC’s live blog covering Friday’s and Saturday’s historic votes to elect a new U.S. House Speaker.

The U.S. House of Representatives elected GOP leader Kevin McCarthy of California as speaker in a dramatic 15th vote early Saturday, after a contentious four days and 14 failed ballots — the longest the chamber has gone leaderless in a century.

In a tense showdown on the House floor in the middle of the 14th failed vote at around 11 p.m. ET Friday, McCarthy personally confronted GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Lauren Boebert of Colorado.

Despite making numerous concessions to win support from them and other far right Republicans over the course of the week, they still refused to support McCarthy outright. They, instead, joined four other Republicans in the 15th and final vote by voting “present,” which helped him clinch the gavel by reducing the number of votes he needed to get to a majority. He won with 216 out of 428 possible votes.

Support for McCarthy dwindled over the first three days of voting from 203 votes on Tuesday to 200 by the 11th vote on Thursday, falling far short of the number needed to win the speakership. He needed support from more than half of the lawmakers who cast their ballots. With 222 Republicans in the House, he could only afford to lose a handful of votes.

All 212 Democrats have unanimously backed House Minority Leader Hakeem Jefferies for each vote, except the 12th vote in which one member was out for a minor surgery.

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