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McCarthy allies, foes huddle as GOP scrambles to find a House speaker

Friends and foes of Kevin McCarthy were meeting behind closed doors Wednesday night after the House adjourned and members planned to return by 8 p.m.

Rep.-elect Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., who has been floated as a possible candidate if McCarthy were to drop out, said there were “multiple meetings happening right now” in an effort to unify the GOP, which  has been unable to agree on a speaker for the last two days.

“We'll have ongoing negotiations with them through the evening, maybe for the future coming days,”  McHenry said. “Because if not, the reality is we're… stopping Republican House from organizing to have oversight of a Democrat Washington.”

Majority Whip-elect Tom Emmer, R-Minn., was hosting a meeting with supporters and opponents of McCarthy. Two opponents of McCarthy, Reps.-elect Matt Gaetz of Florida and Ralph Norman of South Carolina, entered the meeting, and two supporters of McCarthy were seen leaving: Reps.-elect Jason Smith of Missouri and Dusty Johnson of South Dakota.

But none offered any indication of whether a breakthrough was possible or imminent. On the way into the meeting Gaetz said he wanted McCarthy to drop out.

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