A lone Republican member of the House voted ‘present’ on Wednesday in the fourth attempt to agree on a House speaker, the first such vote in the two days the GOP has been trying to find a consensus candidate.
Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana was the only member to vote ‘present,’ a move that changes the dynamic of the vote. Members who don’t vote or who vote ‘present’ reduce the minimum number of votes needed to secure a majority of the House.
Spartz said Republicans need to deliberate further as a conference until they are confident they have the votes for a speaker and ‘stop wasting everyone’s time.’
‘We have a constitutional duty to elect the Speaker of the House, but we have to deliberate further as a Republican conference until we have enough votes and stop wasting everyone’s time,’ Spartz said in a statement Wednesday.
‘None of the Republican candidates have this number yet. That’s why I voted present after all votes were cast.’
It’s unclear if Spartz’s switch signals that she might support a candidate for the seat other than McCarthy for future votes. A representative for Spartz did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Spartz cast her vote after talking to Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., a top aide to Kevin McCarthy, who has been trying to secure 218 votes to win the speaker’s gavel.
McHenry is one of the lawmakers who has been talked about as a possible alternative candidate to McCarthy who might be able to win 218 votes.
The final vote in the fourth round was 201 votes for McCarthy, 212 for Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, 20 for Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., and Spartz’s lone ‘present’ vote.
Fox News’ Tyler Olsen contributed to this report.