As Rep. Kevin McCarthy heads to an astonishing 11th failed attempt to be elected House speaker, reports are emerging that a deal is being struck between the California congressman and the bloc of lawmakers that have kept the gavel out of his hands.
House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) said on Thursday that there’s an agreement in writing that he has been asked to review, according to Punchbowl News.
Anti-McCarthy Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and pro-McCarthy Rep. Patrick McHenry reportedly negotiated the truce, according to the news outlet.
A source close to McCarthy reportedly confirmed to Reuters that a deal is on the table, but that it won’t put him over the vote threshold needed to be elected speaker of the House.
Sources told Reuters that it possibly could give McCarthy an additional 10-12 votes from holdouts.
NBC News reported that the emerging deal is “phase 1” of a plan to generate steam for McCarthy, and allow him to turn some anti-McCarthy lawmakers.
House members are voting on their 11th ballot in just over 48 hours for speaker with seemingly little momentum being made on an agreement to back McCarthy until Thursday evening’s report.
Rep.-elect Ken Buck of Colorado, a McCarthy supporter, has excused himself for a doctor’s appointment, leaving the House GOP leader with less votes, 200, than he started with earlier in the day, 201.
No speaker election had required 11 ballots since 1839.