On a day of political drama not seen in Congress for a century, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy repeatedly failed in his bid to be elected Speaker of the US House of Representatives.
The House adjourned without a speaker on Tuesday night – the first time since 1923 they had failed to choose a leader after a first round vote.
The start of a new Congress was supposed to be a victory lap for the Republican Party as it took control of the lower chamber following November’s elections. Instead, Mr McCarthy faced a rebellion from within his own ranks and made history for all the wrong reasons.
The California congressman has lost three consecutive votes for Speaker so far, and it’s unclear what his path to victory could be when the House returns on Wednesday to try all over again. They will keep voting until someone wins a majority.
And even if Mr McCarthy finds a way, analysts warn, the turmoil on the floor of the House foreshadows a tumultuous two years of moderate and right-wing Republicans at war with each other.