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US Rep. Spartz of Indiana: ‘Stop wasting time’ in balloting for speaker of House

WASHINGTON (WISH) — U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz, a Republican from Indiana, on Wednesday afternoon shared her frustration and voted “present” in the fifth and sixth ballots to elect a speaker of the House of Representatives.

House Republicans flailed through a second day of multiple balloting Wednesday, unable to elect their leader Kevin McCarthy as House speaker or come up with a new strategy to end the political chaos that has tarnished the start of their new majority.

For a fourth, fifth and sixth time, Republicans no Wednesday tried to vote McCarthy into the top job as the House plunged deeper into disarray. But the votes were producing almost the same outcome, 20 conservative holdouts still refusing to support him, and leaving him far short of the 218 typically needed to win the gavel.

McCarthy saw his tally slip to 201 as Swartz switched to vote simply “present.”

Spartz shared her frustration in a news release.

“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. None of the Republican candidates have this number yet. That’s why I voted present after all votes were cast.”

Spartz’ district includes the cities of Alexandria, Anderson, Carmel, Elwood, Fishers, Hartford City, Marion, Noblesville, Tipton and Westfield, and part of the Kokomo area.

Seeing no quick way out of the political standoff, the House on Wednesday night voted abruptly to adjourn until noon Thursday as they desperately searched for an endgame to the chaos of their own making.

President Joe Biden, departing the White House for a bipartisan event in Kentucky with Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, said “the rest of the world is looking” at the scene on the House floor.

“I just think it’s really embarrassing it’s taking so long,” Biden said. “I have no idea” who will prevail.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.