The GOP-controlled House refrained from conducting additional votes on Tuesday after Rep. Jim Jordan’s unsuccessful bid for the speakership in the day’s solitary ballot.
Though many had anticipated a subsequent ballot that evening, Jordan confirmed it would be held at 11 a.m. on October 18. Jordan, expressing optimism, remarked to the press, “We are going to keep working.” He added that he engaged in “great discussions” with fellow members. Jorda also warned against cutting deals with the Democrats to reopen the House. “No one in our conference wants to see a coalition government with the Democrats. We are going to keep working. We will get to the votes.”
In the voting session earlier on Tuesday, Jordan garnered support from 200 Republicans, while 20 from his party chose other candidates. Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries secured 212 votes. Given that no candidate achieved the needed simple majority, Rep. Patrick McHenry, acting as speaker pro tempore, suspended the session.
Among the 20 Republicans who didn’t back Jordan were members of pivotal committees like the Armed Services Committee, members of the Appropriations Committee, and those from regions that had previously supported President Joe Biden. Their reasons for not supporting Jordan varied, some political, while others felt their district’s concerns were neglected.
A few Republicans had advocated for a prompt second ballot, potentially jeopardizing Jordan’s prospects. Rumors suggested his support could wane without modifications. However, Jordan remained persistent, attempting to muster more support within his party.
It’s worth noting that Jordan had recently met with House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who had previously bested Jordan in the speakership nomination but subsequently withdrew. Jordan clinched the nomination on his subsequent attempt.
The urgency to resolve the speakership issue has escalated, especially given the recent removal of Rep. Kevin McCarthy from the role, an impending government shutdown threat, and the pressing matter of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Several suggestions emerged, such as empowering McHenry temporarily or nominating a universally accepted candidate. There’s also the possibility of another Republican emerging as a strong contender.
Interestingly, those who did not support Jordan in the recent vote include prominent names such as Kay Granger, Carlos Gimenez, and Don Bacon, among others.
Rep. Gus Bilirakis, a Jordan supporter, was absent due to a funeral but is expected to return soon. Both McCarthy and Scalise endorsed Jordan, as did Rep. Austin Scott, who had previously challenged Jordan.
As the current Judiciary Committee chairman, Jordan has also secured backing from ex-President Donald Trump, a significant figure in the forthcoming 2024 presidential race.