Jim Jordan continues to lose votes in third bid for House speaker

After a defiant speech, 25 Republicans oppose Jordan.

Eric Garcia
Friday 20 October 2023 12:26 EDT
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Jim Jordan's most controversial moments

Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH) failed once again in his attempt to become speaker of the House on Friday, after he staged a third vote with 25 Republicans voting against him.

Mr Jordan said in an early morning press conference on Friday morning that he would continue his pursuit of the speakership.

“There's been multiple rounds of votes for speaker before,” he told reporters before the vote. “We all know that. I just know that we need to get the speaker as soon as possible.”

But Mr Jordan lost the votes of Reps Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Marc Molinaro (R-NY) and Tom Kean (R-NJ). Many of the Republicans who defected voted instead for Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry. In addition, some Republicans were absent and missed the vote, lowering the threshold of votes needed to block him.

Rep Ralph Norman (R-SC) told The Independent the House should have as many votes as it takes to make Mr Jordan speaker.

“It’s not about Jordan,” he said, adding that rather, Republicans who opposed Mr Jordan were mad about the eight Republicans who ejected Kevin McCarthy. “The country is bigger than that.”

Rep Vern Buchanan (R-FL), who voted for Rep Byron Donalds (R-FL), told The Independent that Mr Jordan had the right to call more votes. Mr Buchanan and other Republicans met with Mr Jordan on Thursday evening and made clear he could not win.

“A lot of just trying to confirm he doesn't have the votes and he's probably he's not gonna be speaker,” Mr Buchanan said.

The vote comes after Republicans scuttled a plan to temporarily empower Mr McHenry while Mr Jordan seeks to flip more votes, given that many members of the conference rejected the plan.

Democrats for their part called on a handful of Republicans to work with them to support House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

Many Democrats decried the fact that the House was once again engaged in another exercise of voting for speaker.

“It's Groundhog Day, Groundhog Day all over,” Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) told The Independent, criticising Mr Jordan and saying it is why he should not be House speaker. “I mean, this is what he does.”

Rep Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said Mr Jordan’s continued pursuit indicated the Republicans’ governing style.

“There's a rule or ruin philosophy that governs the MAGA right and whether they're gonna win and control everything or they are going to have tantrums and just burn the house down,” he told The Independent.

Mr Jordan’s failed bid to become speaker comes after Mr McCarthy was deposed. After a majority of House Republicans nominated House Majority Leader Steve Scalise to become speaker, a handful of conservatives who supported Mr Jordan said they would refuse to back Mr Scalise.

The lack of a speaker means that the House is incapable of conducting its basic duties. The eight Republicans and every Democrat voted to depose Mr McCarthy from the speakership after he allowed for a vote on a “clean” continuing resolution to keep the government open for 48 days.

But the continuing resolution will expire by 17 November, meaning that Congress will need to pass some kind of spending bill to keep the government open. In addition, Democrats and Republicans hope to pass an aid package to Israel and many on both sides of the aisle hope to pass a package to assist Ukraine in its war against Russia.

On Friday, President Joe Biden formally requested Congress approve $105bn in supplemental money to assist Ukraine and Israel

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