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ouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was nominated by House Republicans to serve as Speaker of the House when the new session of Congress starts in January, even as control of the chamber remains unclear.
The California congressman was nominated by 188 – 31, an aide to McCarthy tells NPR.
With some GOP lawmakers voting for his challenger, Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, a conservative member of the House Freedom Caucus, McCarthy faces a challenge uniting a fractured conference that is still reeling from disappointing midterm election results.
“We have our work cut out for us,” McCarthy told reporters after the vote. “[We’re going to] have a small majority, we’ve got to listen to everybody in our conference.”
Tuesday’s closed-door caucus vote was the first step on McCarthy’s path to presiding over the House chamber. The California Republican needs to be elected by a majority of all members who vote at a public vote on the House floor on January 3. The next seven weeks will be a test of his ability to win over those who called for a major leadership shakeup. But McCarthy voiced confidence that he would secure 218 Republican votes by January.
“We’ll work together and we’ll get there,” McCarthy said.