Jim Jordan Loses Ground In Second House Speaker Vote Loss
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, center, the Republican nominee for speaker of the House, is seen on the House floor of the U.S. Capitol after he did not receive enough votes to become speaker on Tuesday, October 17, 2023.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) lost a second ballot for House speaker, getting one less vote than he did in the first round.

A total of 199 members voted for Jordan on Wednesday after he got 200 the day before. Republican defectors, numbering 22 this time around, voted for other people in the GOP. Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), who is the nominee for the Democrats, got 212 votes.

Because no one got the simple majority in the chamber that was needed to secure victory, the search for an electable candidate for speaker continues. Immediately after the vote, the House went into recess and Jordan’s team indicated that he would stay in the running. Some of Jordan’s supporters have pledged to back him for as many as 100 rounds or as long as it takes for him to win.

The GOP-led House voted a little more than two weeks ago to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as speaker, with eight Republicans joining Democrats in opposing him. In the days that followed, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) beat out Jordan to become the GOP’s next nominee for speaker. But Scalise dropped out when he could not muster enough support to be elected speaker within the Republican conference. Jordan won the GOP nomination for speaker after Scalise bowed out.

There has been a sense of urgency to come to pick a new speaker this month 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 Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who is serving as speaker pro tempore, expanded authority to get legislative business done in the short term. Former House Speakers Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and John Boehner (R-OH) voiced support for this idea.

If Jordan ultimately does not prevail, reports indicate other Republicans could enter the race as candidates. Democrats have suggested a “bipartisan path forward.”

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. McCarthy and Scalise voted for Jordan on Monday and Tuesday.


The 20 Republicans who defied Jordan’s bid on Tuesday included members of the Armed Services Committee, members of the Appropriations Committee, and representatives from districts that went for President Joe Biden in the 2020 election. Their stated reasons for not backing Jordan varied, with some citing political gripes while others indicated the needs of their respective districts were not being addressed.

The Tuesday holdouts 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).

On Wednesday, just two of the Tuesday holdouts — LaMalfa and Spartz — voted for Jordan. The remaining defectors were joined by: Reps. Drew Ferguson (R-GA), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), and Pete Stauber (R-MN). Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), who missed the Monday ballot to attend a funeral, voted for Jordan.

The people besides Jordan and Jeffries who received votes for speaker included: Scalise, McCarthy, House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN), Granger, House Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL), Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA), former Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), former Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI), and Boehner.

The U.S. Constitution does not explicitly state that a speaker has to be a sitting member of the House.

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