Jordan fails on second vote in struggle to secure House speakership

Jim Jordan U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. | Credit: Shutterstock

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan this week failed twice to secure the vacant speaker of the House chair, falling short of just a few dozen votes as holdout Republicans looked to long-shot alternatives within the party.

The House of Representatives held two votes over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday, with no candidates securing a majority in either one. Jordan himself garnered the most Republican votes, securing 200 on the first ballot and 199 on the second ballot, though in both cases he came up short of the 217 needed to win the seat.

On Tuesday’s ballot, 20 Republicans voted for someone other than Jordan; on Wednesday, 22 Republicans defected from Jordan.

Although the Ohio Republican picked up one vote from a member who was absent during the first vote and some of those who were initially opposed to him voted for him in the second round, the lawmaker ultimately saw a net loss after more of his colleagues voted elsewhere

“We got 200 votes, you know, we picked up some today, a couple dropped off but they voted for me before,” Jordan told the New York Post after the second vote. “I think they come back again, so we’ll keep talking to members.”

Holdout Republicans have not rallied behind a specific alternative, but the two GOP representatives with the most votes behind Jordan were Majority Leader Steve Scalise and former speaker Kevin McCarthy, the latter of whom lost the speakership more than two weeks ago after hardline conservatives orchestrated his ouster.

Scalise and McCarthy voted for Jordan in both rounds.

Jordan, who is a founding member of the staunchly conservative House Freedom Caucus, currently chairs the House Judiciary Committee.

The committee during his tenure has led a high-profile investigation into an internal memo that originated within the Richmond, Virginia, branch of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which alleged links between “radical traditionalist” Catholics and the “far-right white nationalist movement.”

Although the FBI ordered that the memo be retracted as soon as it was leaked to the public, the committee found evidence that “multiple” FBI field offices were coordinating an investigation into traditionalist Catholics earlier this year. The committee’s investigation of the FBI is still ongoing. 

On Tuesday Jordan received support from Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, which gave the openly pro-life Republican an A+ rating on his pro-life record in 2023. 

“Our friend Rep. Jim Jordan is a strong and proven leader on life, and we support him for speaker of the House,” SBA President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement.

Democrats, meanwhile, united behind their party’s nominee, Hakeem Jeffries, who received 212 votes. The only way Jeffries could win the speakership is if a handful of Republicans voted with Democrats.

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