The House of Representatives has rejected Jim Jordan’s nomination for speaker two weeks after the chamber ousted Kevin McCarthy from the top spot.
Jordan scrambled unsuccessfully to shore up the votes needed to clinch the speakership in the closely divided chamber. He could only afford to lose a few GOP votes to win the nod.
Jordan has come up short in the first round of voting for House speaker.
The Ohio congressman did even worse than Kevin McCarthy did on the first balloting of his election back in January.
Jordan lost 20 Republican votes, well more than the three he could spare to win the speaker’s gavel.
More rounds of voting are expected as Jordan works to shore up support to replace McCarthy for the job and the leader of the GOP’s hard-right flank moves to take a central seat of U.S. power. But it’s unclear when the next vote will take place.
The Jordan holdouts are a mix of pragmatists, ranging from seasoned legislators and committee chairs worried about governing to newer lawmakers from districts where their voters back home prefer President Joe Biden to former President Donald Trump.
Jordan trying to sway holdouts
Jordan appears to be talking to some Republicans about switching their vote after he appears to come up short on the first round.
Twenty Republicans have voted against Jordan, an outcome way worse than his allies were hoping for.
For his part, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is smiling and joking with colleagues as he no longer bears the weight of cajoling them to unite. He had earlier predicted that Jordan would clinch the gavel on the first round.
The vote hasn’t yet closed, and members can still change their ballots.Scalise’s vote for Jordan gets standing ovation
Republicans gave Rep. Steve Scalise a standing ovation after he cast his vote for Jordan for speaker.
Scalise was first nominated to the speakership last week before withdrawing his name when it became clear he would come up short.
But Scalise’s support was likely cold comfort to Jordan, who is on the brink of losing the first round unless votes change before the end.
Fifteen Republicans have so far voted against Jordan. He could afford to lose no more than three votes and still win the speaker’s gavel.Jordan has lost a dozen Republican votes already
A dozen Republicans have now voted against Jordan for House speaker.
They have instead backed Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Steve Scalise, former Rep. Lee Zeldin or others. All the Democrats have voted for their leader, Hakeem Jeffries.
The voting continues.