Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-OH) bid for the House speaker role experienced another setback on Friday as he failed to secure the majority of votes for the third consecutive time.
Out of the required 215 majority votes, Jordan secured 194, marking a decrease from his previous two attempts, which garnered 200 and 199 votes respectively. The lowered count this time around was attributed to a few absent lawmakers. Meanwhile, Democratic nominee Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) maintained a consistent lead, receiving 210 votes this round, slightly down from his prior two tallies of 212 votes.
In a media briefing on Friday, a determined Jordan shared his intention to persist in the race. He expressed the urgency to elect a House speaker to address the needs of Americans.
A re-ballot became necessary after an effort to provisionally position Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-NC) faltered, and subsequent discussions between Jordan and undecided GOP members concluded without a resolution.
The backdrop to Jordan’s bid includes the House’s decision 17 days prior to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as speaker, an event where a surprising alliance of eight Republicans sided with Democrats. Following this, despite initially losing the GOP nomination for speaker to House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), Jordan found himself as the nominee after Scalise withdrew due to insufficient support within the party ranks.
Endorsed by former President Donald Trump, a prominent GOP figure for the upcoming 2024 presidential race, Jordan has consistently received votes from a majority of the GOP members in each ballot, including endorsements from both McCarthy and Scalise.
Despite a commitment from some supporters to back Jordan for numerous rounds of voting, opposition from within the party grew. Notably, three new Republicans voiced their dissent this time: Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Tom Kean (R-NJ), and Marcus Molinaro (R-NY). Several dissenters cited political disagreements and unaddressed district concerns, with a handful revealing they had received threats following their decision to oppose Jordan. Responding to this, Jordan denounced any threats against fellow members.
On this third ballot, Jordan faced opposition from a list of GOP members, including notable figures such as House Appropriations Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX). However, he did see continued support from Reps. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) and Victoria Spartz (R-IN), who had initially opposed his nomination.
In the third voting round, other nominees receiving votes alongside Jordan and Jeffries included high-ranking GOP figures like Scalise, McCarthy, and Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN). It’s noteworthy that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t dictate that the speaker must be an active House member.
Rumors suggest that if Jordan decides to step back, several other Republicans could throw their hats in the ring, with names like Emmer, Budget Chairman Jodey Arrington (R-TX), and Rep. Dan Meuser (R-PA) being floated as potential contenders.