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Jordan Loses 2nd Ballot, 22 Republicans Vote Against Him

Jordan Loses 2nd Ballot, 22 Republicans Vote Against Him
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, listens as the House of Representatives holds its second round of voting for House speaker.  (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Wednesday, 18 October 2023 01:31 PM EDT

Conservative Jim Jordan failed in his second attempt at the top job in the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday, as his fellow Republicans considered a backup option for the leaderless chamber to move forward.

Jordan, who was endorsed by Donald Trump, for a second straight day fell short of the 217 votes needed to fill the vacant speaker's chair, as 22 Republicans and all 212 Democrats voted against him.

The House is now in its 16th day without a leader, which has left Congress unable to respond to the wars in the Middle East and Ukraine, or to take action to head off a partial government shutdown which will begin in less than a month without congressional action.

Jordan's vote total of 199 was less than the 200 Republican votes he secured on Tuesday.

Republicans who control the chamber by a narrow 221-212 majority have been unable to unite behind a speaker candidate since a small faction of them ousted Kevin McCarthy on Oct. 3.

It was not immediately clear whether Jordan would mount a third attempt or clear the way for a fallback option that would give increased power to Rep. Patrick McHenry, who has been temporarily filling the speaker's chair.

The idea has been floated by Republicans and Democrats, as well as two former Republican speakers, Newt Gingrich and John Boehner.

"We've got to decide today," Jordan told reporters before the vote. "Both questions should be called. Let's get an answer. We've been at this two weeks. The American people deserve to have their government functioning."

One proposal submitted by Republican Representative Mike Kelly would name McHenry as speaker through Nov. 17 or until a permanent speaker is selected, which would remove uncertainty about his current ability to run the chamber. That temporary solution could also buy more time for Jordan to line up support for the job after that point.

Democrats, whose support would likely be crucial, have made clear they want Jordan out of the picture. "We want a bipartisan path forward. That does not involve Jim Jordan, who is a poster child for Republican extremism and a danger to our democracy," House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries said on Tuesday.

Jordan's supporters say he would be an effective advocate for advancing conservative priorities in Washington, where Democrats control the White House and the Senate.

"I don't think anybody in here on any issue of any substance would have to guess where Jim Jordan is going to stand. He doesn't deceive. He doesn't dissemble. He simply tells you straight up," Republican Representative Tom Cole said as he nominated Jordan for speaker ahead of the vote.

But other Republicans have voted against him for a variety of reasons, including his positions on taxes, spending and disaster aid, and the strong-arm tactics of his supporters.

New Republican alternatives aside from McHenry could also emerge if Jordan does not pick up support. Potential candidates include Representative Tom Emmer, currently the No. 3 House Republican.

Jordan, a former wrestling coach, is a close ally of former President Donald Trump and a founder of the House Freedom Caucus.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


Politics
Conservative Jim Jordan failed in his second attempt at the top job in the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday, as his fellow Republicans considered a backup option for the leaderless chamber to move forward.
jim jordan, speaker, lose, vote
516
2023-31-18
Wednesday, 18 October 2023 01:31 PM
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