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Oregon Republicans stick with Kevin McCarthy in US House speaker vote

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrives for a closed-door meeting with the GOP Conference ahead as he pursues the speaker of the House role when the 118th Congress convenes, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023.
J. Scott Applewhite
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House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrives for a closed-door meeting with the GOP Conference ahead as he pursues the speaker of the House role when the 118th Congress convenes, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023.

All six of Oregon’s congressional representatives stuck to party lines Tuesday, as the House failed to reach a majority on any one person as the new Speaker of the House.

Oregon’s two Republican representatives — Lori Chavez-DeRemer of Happy Valley and Cliff Bentz of Ontario — have consistently voted for Rep. Kevin McCarthy. Neither responded to requests for comment Tuesday.

Chavez-DeRemer is entering her first term in Congress, having recently flipped Oregon’s 5th Congressional District in a tight victory over Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner. She ran a fairly moderate campaign and has generally avoided mentioning former President Donald Trump.

Bentz was elected in 2020 and has since mostly voted with his fellow Republicans.

While the bulk of Republicans voted for McCarthy to take over as speaker, he failed to hold his caucus together to elect him speaker. The 20 or so holdouts, all on the most conservative end of the spectrum, eventually consolidated their support around Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, himself a supporter of McCarthy.

Republicans took a slight control of the House following the 2022 midterm elections, but have been unable to select a leader, with many far-right members of the party refusing to back McCarthy’s bid for speaker. Their number has grown with each round of voting thus far.

McCarthy has said he plans to hold multiple rounds of voting until a result is reached, according to the New York Times.

All four of Oregon’s Democratic representatives — Suzanne Bonamici of Beaverton, Earl Blumenauer of Portland, Val Hoyle of Springfield and Andrea Salinas of Lake Oswego — voted for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.

Copyright 2023 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Joni Land