Republican leader Kevin McCarthy lost two initial House votes to become Speaker, the first time in more than a century that balloting required multiple rounds.

As of 4:30 p.m. ET, Republicans have not elected a Speaker. McCarthy received 203 of the 218 votes needed in the second round of balloting, which largely resembled the first. Nineteen Republicans voted for Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan. Jordan nominated and voted for McCarthy in the second round.

Conservative Republicans are voting for Jordan, protesting McCarthy's candidacy. He appeared likely to fall short in a third round of voting.

All business in the chamber — including committee appointments and the swearing-in of newly elected members — is on hold until a Speaker is chosen.

McCarthy has largely lost the support of his party's ultra-right-wing, including members of the House Freedom Caucus. McCarthy was able to gather the support of only three Freedom Caucus members during the initial vote: Reps. Ben Cline and Clay Higgins, and Rep.-elect Mike Collins.

"We may have a battle on the floor, but the battle is for the conference and the country," McCarthy said Tuesday at the Capitol.

McCarthy has committed himself and his allies to rounds of voting, which could take days.

Before the voting began, McCarthy held a closed-door meeting with some of his most adamant detractors, attempting a last-minute bid to gain their support.

Politico reports McCarthy gave an impassioned speech to the group, culminating in a standing ovation to which McCarthy said, "I earned this job. We earned this majority, and God dammit we are going to win it today."

Democrats have not missed the opportunity to display their own party's unity, assembling and instructing members to not miss a single round of voting, and coming together in support of incoming minority leader, Rep. Hakeem Jefferies.