Republicans worried about even more chaos as members could miss upcoming Speaker votes: report
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks to the media following a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House in November 2022. (

On Thursday, POLITICO's Olivia Beavers reported that yet another monkey wrench could be on the horizon for House Republicans as the Speaker votes drag on: member absences.

"Growing GOP chatter/concern among some GOP members who may have to miss the speakership vote if it keeps dragging out due to various circumstances," reported Beavers.

Specifically, there are three Republican members who have personal matters to attend to: Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK), whose mother passed away; Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-TX), whose wife just gave birth; and Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX), who has an unspecified "family matter."

Additionally, noted Beavers, "[Republicans] are also missing one member now: Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), who missed the 9th ballot after traveling back to his state for a 'planned non-emergency medical procedure,' a spox told POLITICO. Buck's office didn't detail a timeline for when he will return."

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A small handful of Republican absences would complicate issues for GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), repeatedly blocked from the Speakership by a group of insurgent lawmakers. Each absence or "present" vote drops the threshold of votes needed down from 218. This is problematic for Republicans because the Democratic leader, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), has consistenly won more votes than McCarthy in every round.

Several GOP lawmakers blocking McCarthy are demanding changes to House rules that would give them power and reduce that of Republican leadership; however, some of them, like Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), have made it clear they will never vote for McCarthy under any circumstance.

According to new reports, a couple of the McCarthy-skeptic lawmakers have proposed a deal over the rules package that some of them are on board with; however, this deal is still not sufficient to win over the hard no votes, which are on their own enough to block McCarthy from 218 votes.