As a result of the GOP’s slim majority in the House of Representatives, McCarthy needs the support of nearly all Republicans to reach the necessary 218 votes to become speaker.
A group of 20 Republicans, members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, have repeatedly withheld their support since the start of the 118th Congress on Tuesday.
By Friday afternoon and the fourth day of voting, and after lengthy behind-the-scenes negotiations, 13 of those Republicans flipped in favor of McCarthy in the 12th ballot.
Though with seven holdouts, the California Republican still lacks a majority to become House speaker, and a 13th ballot is expected.
McCarthy rubbed his eyes as votes came in on Wednesday.
The four-day standstill means that the House currently has zero members. It cannot swear-in lawmakers, introduce any bills, or pass legislation until a speaker is elected. Basic functioning of the members’ offices, such as committee work and constituent services have also been brought to a halt.
Moore, who voted for McCarthy, told CNN on Tuesday that Republicans, “for better or worse, notoriously, don’t always fall in line.”
Other members of Congress read the newspaper.
McCarthy failed to earn the necessary votes on several consecutive ballots.
The start of a new Congress is usually a ceremonial occasion for members, who often bring their family members — spouses, children — with them on the first day to celebrate their swearing-in. But still, no members have yet taken their oaths of office.
Photos captured lawmakers multi-tasking at votes, taking care of their children as they waited out the process.
Sanchez tweeted on Wednesday that McCarthy was having a “terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day,” a reference to the classic children’s book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”
Over the hours, members have been crossing the aisle across the House chamber to chat with their colleagues as they wait.
The Arkansas Republican sat next to Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky.
Throughout votes, Republican lawmakers have been huddling to discuss a deal to move forward, both within the chamber and outside of it.
Freshman Rep.-elect George Santos of New York, who’s been mired in mounting scandal, is seen laughing with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.
When asked by a reporter if dogs were allowed in the House chamber, Mace replied that “there are no rules right now,” the Independent reported.
“I don’t know if we will get there today, but we are going to make progress,” McCarthy told Bloomberg News reporter Erik Wasson as he entered the Capitol on Friday, the fourth day of voting.