Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has said that Representative Kevin McCarthy would only need “one more” vote than Democratic Representative Hakeem Jeffries in order to become the House Speaker. Graham took to Twitter to make the claim on Wednesday, a day after the House failed to have a Speaker elected on the first ballot. The last time this happened was a century ago in 1923.
McCarthy has not been able to secure the required votes by the Republican party as he is facing opposition from other House Republicans. Graham in his tweet also warned against the possibility that Jeffries would become the Speaker, which could have many negative consequences.
Graham wrote on Twitter, “How does this end? When Kevin McCarthy secures 213 votes – one more than Hakeem Jeffries.”
However, as many pointed out in response to this tweet McCarthy needs to win 218 votes in order to become the Speaker, simply having more votes than Jeffries would not allow him to become the Speaker. This is because the majority of the members voting need to vote in favor of a candidate in order for them to become the House Speaker.
Ben Sheehan, author of OMG WTF Does the Constitution Actually Say, responded to Graham asking how someone could be a member of Congress and still not know how the Speaker was elected.
Technically it is possible for McCarthy to win by one vote, but only if the members of the House decide to vote “present.”