After Jim Jordan’s removal, who’s the next House speaker?

Several options have been floated as possible next options, but it remains unclear if anyone can get the 217 votes needed

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Friday 20 October 2023 20:50 BST
Democratic congressman calls out Jim Jordan’s failure to pass any legislation in 16 years

Rep Jim Jordan is out as the nominated speaker of the House Republicans after losing an internal ballot by a large margin.

According to Rep Kat Cammack, Mr Jordan lost by 112 votes to 86. This comes after Mr Jordan lost further support on the third ballot of the full house.

On the first vote, 20 Republicans voted against Mr Jordan, 22 did so on the second, and 25 on the third. Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy took 15 rounds of voting before he managed to get across the line in January.

Acting Speaker Rep Patrick McHenry said on Friday afternoon said Republicans will return on Monday for a candidate forum following the removal of Mr Jordan.

The “election process” will then begin on Tuesday morning, he added.

“The reason why I made that decision is, we need space and time for candidates to talk to other members,” he told the press.

A large and growing number of Republicans were starting to make calls to sound out fellow members about who they might support.

Who’s next in line?

A large and growing number of Republicans were starting to make calls to sound out fellow members about who they might support.

Previously, a number of Republicans have mentioned Louisiana Rep Mike Johnson as a possible next option. The vice chair of the Republican conference, 51, has been floated alongside Majority Whip Tom Emmer, 62, who has spent the last half-decade in the leadership, with most of his time going to chairing the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

While Mr Emmer has some backers on the right of the party, large parts of the Trump wing aren’t as supportive, Punchbowl News notes.

Mr McCarthy may start believing in an unlikely comeback if the speaker race doesn’t come to a resolution soon. This would require at least four of the eight members who voted against him to flip.

Many GOP members have told the press that their party is so divided that no candidate can get 217 votes from the party, meaning that votes from Democrats may be required to get over the line.

But there have been no major discussions between the parties and the Democrats would use their leverage to push for major concessions, and it’s unclear what a deal would look like.

Any member of the chamber could simply step onto the floor when the House opens and put forward a privileged resolution to strengthen and widen the powers of the temporary speaker, Rep Patrick McHenry of North Carolina. The McCarthy ally and famed gavel-slammer could also be elected as the permanent speaker. But this option was rejected ahead of Mr Jordan’s ouster.

Other candidates in the mix include Rep Jodey Arrington of Texas, Rep Mark Green of Florida, and Rep Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, but none of these are likely to get to 217 votes, according to Punchbowl.

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