Hakeem Jeffries, who succeeded Nancy Pelosi as The Democrats’ leader, got 212 votes.
“My father always told me, it’s now how you start, it’s how you finish,” McCarthy said in his first speech.
“Our system is built on checks and balances. It’s time for us to be a check and provide some balance to the president’s policies,” he added.
The 2023–24 legislative session can begin after McCarthy assumes the speakership and the House begins swearing in newly elected representatives.
A speaker was not chosen in the first round for the first time in a century.
Before the House meeting on Friday, McCarthy’s bid for speaker seemed uncertain. After three days of trying to get a majority but failing, he was negotiating with right-wing rebels.
After a poor midterm election showing in November that saw Democrats maintain control of the United States Senate, Republicans narrowly won control of the House.