Rep. Jordan presses on with House speaker bid despite losing 2nd vote

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio failed to garner enough support in Wednesday's vote after again failing to sway his GOP colleagues in the House.
Posted at 10:05 AM, Oct 18, 2023

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio was hoping that the bright television lights and cameras in the House of Representatives would swing enough votes his direction to become speaker of the House in a second vote on Wednesday. But despite a last-minute push by several allies of former President Donald Trump, the far-right Jordan failed to win over the majority of his caucus, with even more colleagues dissenting the second time around. 

The magic number conservatives were looking for was 217, and despite another night of attempts to sway lawmakers, the far-right Jordan failed to win a majority with 22 Republicans voting against him. All Democrats voted for their nominee, New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.

Rep. Jim Jordan loses first bid for House speaker; next vote Wednesday
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

Rep. Jim Jordan loses first bid for House speaker; next vote Wednesday

House Republicans must now reconvene and attempt to garner more support for Jordan, or seek a new nomination for the gavel.


Nonetheless, Jordan says he plans to continue to push for their support and try again to win the gavel. 

"We're going to keep going," he said. "We've had great conversations, great discussions with our colleagues and frankly, no one in our conference wants to see any type of coalition government with Democrats. So, we're going to keep working and we're going to get to the votes. We've got to have a speaker and it can't be some deal with the Democrats." 

Why is it so hard to be a Republican speaker of the House?
Combination photo shows former House speakers John Boehner, Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy.

Why is it so hard to be a Republican speaker of the House?

The House is expected to pick a new speaker soon, but regardless of who's leading the chamber, lawmakers have a lot to do in the next six weeks.


But as both votes have shown, there seems to be growing concerns from Republicans about continuing to back Jordan. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa, who backed Jordan on the first ballot, told Scripps News that she is declining further support unless he makes major changes, like pushing for a unity candidate  — something Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York wants Republicans to take him up on. 

"The situation in the House of Representatives right now is unreal, unbelievable, and unacceptable," Jeffries said. "Paging my traditional Republican colleagues: It's time to get off the sidelines, break away from extremists, get in the arena, so we can find a bipartisan path forward." 

All Democrats voted for Jeffries in both votes for speaker of the House, though it is extremely unlikely he will ever gain any votes from Republicans in the GOP-controlled chamber. For now, it appears voting could go on for several more rounds like it did in January when it took McCarthy 15 ballots to eventually be elected speaker.