Jim Jordan Loses First House Speaker Vote
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) speaks briefly to reporters as he departs a House Republican Caucus at the U.S. Capitol October 16, 2023 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) failed to garner enough support to become the next speaker of the GOP-led House in the first round of voting on Tuesday.

Following a House floor vote that began in the early afternoon, the final tally showed Jordan getting 200 votes and Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), who was the nominee for the Democrats, getting 212 votes. Twenty Republicans voted for other people in the GOP. Only a simple majority in the chamber was needed to secure victory.

“A speaker has not been elected,” Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who is serving as speaker pro tempore, announced as he gaveled the House into a recess after the tally was confirmed.

The House could have another round of voting as early as later on Tuesday or choose another way forward. After Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was removed as speaker earlier this month, there has been a sense of urgency to come to a resolution as a government shutdown is possible by mid-November without a spending deal and members want to respond to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Some have floated giving McHenry expanded powers to get legislative business done in the short term. Others have suggested a consensus candidate with bipartisan support.

Jordan won the GOP nomination for speaker in his second try on Friday after the party’s first nominee, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), dropped out before a House floor vote could happen as he faced opposition from a small group of Republicans.

As voting got underway on Tuesday, House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) formally nominated Jordan on the House floor. Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) did the same for Jeffries.

Though Jordan had been working over the past few days to woo a couple dozen Republican holdouts who were resistant to his candidacy, even releasing a “Dear Colleague” letter on Monday calling for the GOP conference to unite, he failed to lock the support of enough Republicans in the first round of voting. GOP defectors picked other people, including Scalise, McCarthy, and former Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY).

The GOP holdouts in the first round included: House Appropriations Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX) and Reps. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Don Bacon (R-NE), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Jake Ellzey (R-TX), Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY), Tony Gonzales (R-TX), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Jenn Kiggans (R-VA), Nick LaLota (R-NY), Mike Lawler (R-NY), John Rutherford (R-FL), Mike Simpson (R-ID), Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Steve Womack (R-AR), John James (R-MI), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Ken Buck (R-CO), and Victoria Spartz (R-IN).


Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), who supports Jordan, missed the first vote to attend a funeral. McCarthy and Scalise voted for Jordan. As did Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), who challenged Jordan for the GOP nomination in the second round.

The House started a new round of voting for speaker two weeks after lawmakers voted to remove McCarthy from the role that he had held since the beginning of the year. In January, McCarthy secured the speaker’s gavel in the 15th round of voting after making concessions to a small group of Republicans, such as restoring the ability of a single member to trigger the process that would lead to such a no-confidence vote.

Citing frustrations with McCarthy’s leadership, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) filed a “motion to vacate the chair” after the GOP-controlled House passed a short-term spending bill to avert a government shutdown. Gaetz and seven other Republicans joined with Democrats in a 216-210 vote that ousted McCarthy.

Jordan is the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He had received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, the GOP frontrunner in the 2024 presidential contest.

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