Jim Jordan to face third House vote as he tries to salvage floundering speaker bid

US Republican Representative from Ohio Jim Jordan speaks during a press conference at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on October 19, 2023. 

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Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio is facing the House of Representatives for a third time on Friday, as he tries to salvage his floundering bid to become the next speaker of the lower chamber.

The House is now voting on his nomination.

Jordan has insisted on remaining in the race despite failing in two consecutive votes this week with little indication he has chipped away at the stiff wall of opposition from GOP lawmakers in the meantime. Jordan, a staunch Donald Trump ally, boasts the backing of the Republican former president and 2024 GOP primary frontrunner.

The Ohio Republican indicated he will keep pushing into the weekend if his bid fails again Friday. He alluded to the 15 rounds of voting that former Speaker Kevin McCarthy needed before securing the gavel.

“There’s been multiple rounds of votes for speaker before — we all know that,” Jordan told reporters at a press conference Friday. “Our plan this weekend is to get a speaker elected to the House as soon as possible so we can help the American people.”

McCarthy formally nominated Jordan on Friday with lawmakers laughing as he spoke: “Being speaker is not an easy job, especially in this conference. I’ve seen Jim spend his entire career fighting for freedom. No matter what, no matter the odds — and I know he’s ready for the job,” McCarthy said.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the Democratic candidate for speaker, called Friday for moderate Republicans to abandon Jordan and work on a bipartisan solution to end the impasse.

“End the attachment to the extremist Jim Jordan and join with Democrats in finding a bipartisan path forward,” Jeffries told reporters. “We recognize that Jim Jordan is a clear and present danger to the American people. And we are going to be here for as long as it takes to end this national nightmare.”

Jordan’s decision to press ahead Friday comes after Republicans failed to coalesce around a proposal to temporarily empower interim Speaker Patrick McHenry to oversee the passage of legislation until the deeply divided party settles on a permanent replacement.

Democrats had expressed openness to supporting McHenry.

Republicans appear to have no viable path to elect a speaker more than two weeks after a faction of eight GOP lawmakers led by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida ousted McCarthy. The leadership vacuum in the House has left Congress unable to pass spending legislation, with clock ticking toward a Nov. 17 deadline to avoid a government shutdown.

Congress is also unable to address what President Joe Biden has described as urgent national security priorities. Biden on Thursday said he would ask Congress to pass security assistance for Israel as it wages war against Hamas, as well as for Ukraine as Kyiv battles the Russian invasion.

Jordan can only afford to lose four Republican votes, given that he has to rely entirely on his own party in the closely divided house to get elected. The Ohio Republican lost 20 GOP lawmakers in the first vote and faired even worse in the second round with 22 defections.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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