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Tags: jim jordan | house | speaker | vote | republican | caucus

Rep. Jim Jordan Loses Third House Speaker Vote, 21 Votes Shy

By    |   Friday, 20 October 2023 12:15 PM EDT

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, fell short for a third time Friday for the speaker's gavel, getting 194 votes — 21 shy of the requisite 215.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., received unanimous support from 210 Democrats in attendance, while 25 Republicans voted against Jordan.

With 429 members present and five absences Friday, Jordan needed to reach 215 votes to win the gavel. There were two Republicans and two Democrats not voting Friday that voted in prior rounds.

The vote wound up being slightly worse for Jordan than the second round. He could only afford to lose five votes from Republicans.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., Rep. Tom Kean, R-N.Y., and Rep. Marcus Molinaro, R-N.Y., all withdrew their support vote for Jordan in the latest round.

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., received eight votes; while Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., received six; and former Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., received four.

Ahead of the vote, Jordan showed no signs of stepping aside, insisting at a Capitol press conference: "The American people are hungry for change."

Republicans control the chamber by a narrow 221-212 majority.

Republicans appear no closer to resolving a leadership battle that has paralyzed the House for more than two weeks. Their infighting has left Congress unable to act on President Joe Biden's request for aid to Ukraine and Israel.

At a news conference ahead of the vote, Jordan said the House needed to install a speaker so it could take up aid for Israel and other matters, but he did not predict victory.

"Our plan this weekend is to get a speaker elected to the House of Representatives as soon as possible," he said.

A close ally of Donald Trump, Jordan was a "significant player" in the former president's attempts to overturn Biden's 2020 election win, according to a congressional investigation.

"I think there were all kinds of problems with the 2020 election, and I've been clear about that," he said.

The narrow and fractious Republican majority has failed to unite behind Jordan or any other candidate to replace Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted by a handful of party members on Oct. 3. They also have been unable to agree on a fallback plan that would let the chamber take up legislation.

McCarthy said Jordan would be an effective leader. "He is straightforward, honest, and reliable. That is who Jim Jordan is. That's what being a speaker is all about," he said as he nominated Jordan on the House floor.

Death Threats

Jordan failed to win the votes needed to claim the speaker's gavel in votes on Tuesday and Wednesday. He made little headway with the 22 Republicans who voted against him, some of whom say they have received death threats.

Jordan's allies say that should not matter.

"All of us in Congress receive death threats. I don't know if that's a newsflash for anybody here," Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., said.

Democrats describe Jordan as a dangerous extremist and have unanimously voted against him.

"Their nominee's vision is a direct attack on the freedom and the rights of the American people, and he's got the record to prove it," Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., said on the House floor.

Jordan has not gotten more than 200 votes so far.

The third failed vote might prompt Jordan to drop out, which would clear the way for other candidates. But it is unclear whether Republicans will be able to unite behind any of them.

Rep. Jodey Arrington, R-Ga., who has been floated as an alternative, said he was backing Jordan for now.

"As long as he's in the race, we're going to get him there," he told reporters.

Republicans also are divided on a backup option that could allow the chamber to address pressing matters, like spending legislation that would allow the U.S. government to keep functioning beyond a Nov. 17 deadline, and a foreign aid package that could amount to $100 billion.

That plan would give more authority to Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry, who is filling the speaker's chair on a temporary basis. House Democrats and the White House have said they are open to the idea, but Republicans rejected that approach in a closed-door meeting Thursday.

'Petty, Partisan, Angry Politics'

Biden urged Republicans to resolve their differences in a televised speech Thursday.

"You can't let petty, partisan, angry politics get in the way of our responsibilities as a great nation," he said.

Jordan said the House needed to elect him speaker so it could approve aid to Israel. "The sooner we can get this accomplished, the better for the American people, who expect us to work for them, and for our friends and allies like the great state of Israel," he said.

Investors say the turmoil on Capitol Hill is also contributing to market volatility.

Jordan has built his reputation as a leader of that uncompromising right flank. His backers say that would make him an effective fighter for conservative policies in a town where Democrats control the Senate and the White House.

He helped to engineer government shutdowns in 2013 and 2018 and helped to push Republican Speaker John Boehner into retirement in 2015.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, fell short for a third time Friday in the scramble for the speaker's gavel, getting 194 votes instead of the requisite 215. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., received unanimous support from 210 Democrats in attendance, while 25 Republicans voted against Jordan. With 429...
jim jordan, house, speaker, vote, republican, caucus
Friday, 20 October 2023 12:15 PM
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