LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As the now-historic voting for the next Speaker of the House continues in Washington, the members of the Arkansas delegation continue to support the Republican Party leader.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy has now gone through two votes to lead Congress, coming 15 votes short of the 218 needed to take the gavel in both tallies.

This is the first time since 1923 that multiple votes for speaker have been held, and only the 15th time since 1789.

The four Arkansas delegates, all Republicans, have continued to support McCarthy, with Reps. Rick Crawford, Bruce Westerman, Steve and French Hill all backing McCarthy in both votes.

The quartet are among the 208 GOP congresspeople who have backed the California representative against challenges from a more conservative block of the party.

Crawford issued a Dec. 20, 2022 news release supporting McCarthy for speaker, though the other Arkansas representatives have not commented specifically on the Speaker race.

Votes for Speaker are cast publicly, with the House member standing up to cast a vote. The House of Representatives will not be called into order until a Speaker is elected.

Late Monday afternoon Rep. Bruce Westerman issued a statement of his continued support for McCarthy. He spoke of the importance of the speaker role and McCarthy’s commitment to the American people.

“This is not the first time the House Speaker’s race has gone through multiple ballots, and I’m sure it won’t be the last either. Choosing who is third in line to the Presidency is critical, and the process we go through to make that choice should be serious and deliberate,” Westerman said in his release. “I hope my colleagues will see that supporting Kevin McCarthy gives the American people the greatest opportunity for success in the next two years. He is committed to moving us forward under a conservative vision that prioritizes American security, energy independence, and economic growth.”