Jordan fails again in second speaker vote

(The Center Square) – House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, failed a second time Wednesday afternoon to win the speaker of the House.

Jordan, needing 217 votes, got 199. Two voters flipped for him, four against him, and one representative who missed the first vote was back and voted for Jordan.

It is a troubling sign for the House of Representatives to resume operating, with another speakership vote expected but not certain.

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., nominated Jordan in a speech from the floor Wednesday, calling him “a person whose principles you know, whose actions you can trust, and who in a time of crisis will respond with the leadership we need.”

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who was ousted after Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., filed a motion to vacate the speakership earlier this month, has publicly backed Jordan and predicted he will win. Gaetz has also given Jordan his support.

Democrats have openly campaigned against Jordan, blasting him for partisanship and his questioning of the 2020 election results. Democrats nominated Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., for the speakership and voted in lockstep for him.

“212 to 200,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., said Wednesday from the floor, referring to the vote total from Tuesday’s speaker vote. “No amount of election denying is going to take away from those vote totals.”

The House has gone without a speaker since Oct. 3 amid significant international and domestic concerns. Lawmakers face another partial government shutdown deadline of Nov. 17 as well as ongoing calls for funding wars in Israel, which broke out the weekend following McCarthy’s ouster, and Ukraine.

Jordan picked up momentum and support since Republicans were choosing between he and Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La. Scalise eventually withdrew. Many Republicans have been outspoken in their hesitation or opposition to Jordan.

McCarthy, who was largely less controversial of a choice than Jordan, endured 15 votes before winning the position earlier this year.

There is no main challenger to Jordan, and Republicans will be back to the drawing board in finding a new nominee if he withdraws. Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., the speaker pro tempore, has dismissed most questions on trying to have more ability to operate or gain the speakership.

Jordan has a reputation as a hardline conservative, concerning some moderate Republicans. He worked diligently in recent days to rally support, calling and meeting with members and securing key endorsements from skeptics and Scalise allies.

“We must stop attacking each other and come together,” Jordan wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, late Tuesday. “There’s too much at stake. Let’s get back to working on the crisis at the southern border, inflation, and helping Israel.”

In this second round, Jordan gained the votes of Reps. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif, and Victoria Spartz, R-Ind. Also, Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., voted for Jordan after missing the first vote to attend a funeral.

The 22 votes against Jordan came from Reps. Don Bacon of Nebraska, Vern Buchanan of Florida, Ken Buck of Colorado, Lori Chavez-Ramer of Oregon, Anthony D’Esposito of New York, Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, Jake Ellzey of Florida, Drew Ferguson of Georgia, Andrew Garbarino of New York, Carlos Gimenez of Florida, Tony Gonzales of Texas, Kay Granger of Texas, John James of Michigan, Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, Jennifer Kiggans of Virginia, Nick LaLota of New York, Michael Lawler of New York, Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa, John Rutherford of Florida, Michael Simpson of Idaho, Pete Stauber of Minnesota, and Steve Womack of Arkansas.

Those changing votes away from Jordan in the second round were Buchanan, Ferguson, Miller-Meeks and Stauber.

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