Rep. Jim Jordan failed to secure the House speakership on his first vote Tuesday, a disappointment for his allies who hoped defections would be minimal. Jordan did not get the majority of votes needed from the full House, leaving Congress in limbo.
Jordan Falls Short of Majority Needed
It comes after the unprecedented removal of Rep. Kevin McCarthy two weeks prior, amid chaos over the speakership. Now a similar band of Republican rebels could thwart Jordan’s path, given the slim House margin.
Mixed Reaction Within Republican Ranks
On the initial ballot, 20 Republicans opposed Jordan, casting votes for alternatives like Reps. McCarthy, Steve Scalise and Lee Zeldin instead. Meanwhile, some previous McCarthy supporters like Rep.
Doug LaMalfa now say they will switch to Jordan for the next vote. Others, like Rep. Carlos Gimenez, insist they’ll never back Jordan. Rep. John James is open to eventually supporting Jordan.
But Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and John Rutherford signaled no change in their opposition to Jordan’s bid.
Uncertain Path Ahead for Jordan’s Speakership
After recess, the House will reconvene for another vote Wednesday morning. Jordan is meeting with allies, aiming to flip hesitant members. But if voting drags on, his opposition could expand.
Democrats uniformly backed Rep. Hakeem Jeffries over Jordan while criticizing his election denialism and ignoring the January 6 committee’s subpoena.
Though Jeffries got more votes on the first ballot, Democrats discussed potentially supporting an alternative consensus GOP candidate. For now, Jordan’s journey to the speakership faces significant roadblocks.
Jordan’s failure to clinch the speakership on the first ballot underscores the deep divisions within the Republican ranks. Though he hoped to consolidate support swiftly, nearly 10% of the GOP conference rejected him out of the gate.
That will embolden his critics and prompt more meetings with wavering members. Jordan must carefully navigate the competing factions to build a majority coalition.
With McCarthy and Scalise allied against him and Democrats uniformly opposed, his path remains tremendously difficult.