Republican Kevin McCarthy was chosen as the new US Speaker after receiving the 15th vote in a tense congressional session.
Following the November midterm elections, Mr McCarthy’s party gained control of the House, the US lower chamber, with a thin 222-212 majority.
The Speaker is usually elected as a formality, with the leader of the largest party a shoo-in for the office.
However, due to recent infighting in the Republican Party, this did not occur until the 15th round of voting.
Mr McCarthy received 216 votes on the 14th ballot, one short of the 216 required for victory, as a small faction of right-wing hardliners held out.
On the 15th ballot, he won by a margin of 216-211.
He was elected with fewer than half of the House’s votes because five members of his own party withheld their votes, not supporting Mr McCarthy as leader but also not voting for another candidate.
“My father always told me, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” he told cheering fellow Republicans.
US President Joe Biden praised him on his achievement and stated that he is “willing to work with Republicans” when possible.
The Republican Party, on the other hand, is now expected to turn the fight against the President and the Democrats, with Mr McCarthy pledging subpoenas and investigations.
“Now the hard work begins,” Mr McCarthy said.
After four days of voting, which included a 14th round, Mr McCarthy was spotted strolling to the rear of the chamber to face Rep. Matt Gaetz, who did not vote for him.
Mr Gaetz was one of six Republican holdouts, voting “present” in the 14th and 15th rounds.
This essentially meant that he registered to vote in the House but did not support anyone as the future Speaker.
After Mr McCarthy approached him, there was a heated exchange, and a swarm of Republican MPs surrounded them.
Rep. Mike Rogers, who voted with Mr McCarthy, appeared to lunge in the direction of Mr Gaetz, but was stopped by other members.
“Stay civil,” someone yelled.
Another Mr McCarthy supporter, Rep. Richard Hudson, was also seen holding Mr Rogers around the lips, but it was unclear what the argument was over.
Watch The Video Here:
Meanwhile, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was observed waving a phone around while on a phone call with a person saved as ‘DT,’ presumably Donald Trump.
The GOP lawmaker from Georgia captioned the photo on Twitter, “It was the perfect phone call.”
It was the perfect phone call. pic.twitter.com/aRpf5pefoU— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) January 7, 2023
Despite the fact that many of the renegade Republicans favor Mr Trump, the former president has frequently supported Mr McCarthy for Speaker.
Despite agreeing to several of the opponents’ requests, a handful of far-right Republicans from the hardline Freedom caucus felt Mr McCarthy was not conservative enough for the job.
Mr McCarthy has agreed to reintroduce a long-standing House rule that allows any one member to call a vote to remove him from office, which is one of the most challenging requests he has agreed to.
This will significantly limit his ability to pass legislation on crucial subjects as as funding the government, addressing the nation’s rising debt ceiling, and dealing with other potential crises.
The Speakership is one of the most prominent posts in American politics, and this week’s failed votes were the most since 1859, two years before the American Civil War began.
Sessions to choose the right individual for the post have lasted hours in the chamber this week, with one exceeding eight hours.