Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, fell short in two speaker ballots on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, dealing a major setback to his hopes of becoming the next Speaker of the House. Jordan received 200 votes on both ballots, but he needed 217 votes to win.
Jordan’s allies are now scrambling to figure out what to do next. Jordan has said that he plans to stay in the race, but it is unclear if he can pick up the additional votes he needs to win.
The next vote probably won’t happen until at least midday on Thursday. One of the Republicans who oppose his bid, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), told CNN that Jordan would lose a “bigger chunk” in a third ballot.
Some of Jordan’s supporters have pledged to back him for as many as 100 rounds or as long as it takes for him to win.
Democrats are united behind their nominee, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), giving him 212 votes in each ballot. Jordan received 200 votes in the first round and 199 in the second one.
There is real urgency to pick a new speaker this month as a government shutdown is possible by mid-November without a spending deal and members are feeling pressure to the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Some lawmakers have promoted Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who is serving as speaker pro tempore, expanded authority to get legislative business done in the short term. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), one of the GOP holdouts, said he has a resolution that is “about continuing the work of the American people while we select a new speaker.”
“A vote to further empower a temporary Speaker is a vote to keep you broke and Washington broken. I told you – no matter what – I won’t vote for the status quo, and I’m keeping my word,” Rep. Scott Petty (R-PA) said in a post to X.
“Understand. The proposal to empower the Speaker pro tem is not significantly different than electing Speaker Hakeem Jeffries. It is coalition govt between the Dems and the R big spenders,” added Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC). “The Washington swamp strikes back. Don’t let it win.”
Thanks to my RINO primary opponent, Ken Buck, Jim Jordan has lost a second vote to become House Speaker.
Buck said, "I am concerned that Jordan has not agreed to say that Donald Trump lost the election and Joe Biden won the election."
Help me beat this RINO by… pic.twitter.com/mvo0VJ8j7I
— Trent Leisy (@realTrentLeisy) October 18, 2023