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Absences Friday Will Lower the Threshold for Majority, but Won't Help McCarthy -- WSJ

The Wall Street Journal · 01/06/2023 12:39

By Eliza Collins

Rep. Wesley Hunt of Texas and Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, both Republicans who had supported Rep. Kevin McCarthy for speaker, will be out Friday.

Absences lower the number of votes needed to reach a majority.

There are currently 434 members in the House, with one absence. Securing the speakership requires a majority of lawmakers present and voting -- or 218 if all cast votes.

If Messrs. Hunt and Buck are both out and Rep. Victoria Spartz (R., Ind.) continues to vote present, the total number of lawmakers voting will be 431, lowering the number of votes needed for a majority to 216. However, the lower threshold doesn't help Mr. McCarthy much given the three Republicans have not been among his 20 detractors.

Mr. Hunt's wife just had a baby. Friday he announced he'd be going home.

"Willie needs his father and Emily needs her husband. Today, I'll be returning home to hold my son and be at my wife's side," Mr. Hunt tweeted, "It's my intention to get back into the fight as soon as possible," he continued.

Mr. Buck, a Colorado Republican who was backing Mr. McCarthy, had to return home for a planned nonemergency medical procedure, his aide said Thursday.

This item is part of a Wall Street Journal live coverage event. The full stream can be found by searching P/WSJL (WSJ Live Coverage).

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 06, 2023 12:39 ET (17:39 GMT)

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