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.
Posted at 1:49 PM, Oct 17, 2023

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to reject Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan's first bid for speaker of the House, sending Republicans back to the drawing board in their search to fill Rep. Kevin McCarthy's vacated post.

The magic number Republicans were looking for was 217, and 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 20 Republicans voting against him. All Democrats voted for New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. The only congressman not present for the vote was Republican Rep. Gus Bilirakis of Florida, who is currently out of office for a funeral. 

Nonetheless, despite the failed first vote, there's still the possibility that this could last several more rounds like it did in January when it took McCarthy 15 ballots to eventually be elected speaker. 

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.


Rep. Jordan said Tuesday afternoon he will continue to push for additional Republican support in a vote on Wednesday.

"We're going to keep going. We 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," Jordan told reporters Tuesday. "Until we get a speaker — we've got to have a speaker — and it can't be some deal with the Democrats. The American people don't want that. They elected Republicans in a majority."

For now, House Republicans must reconvene and attempt to either garner more support for Jordan as speaker of the House, or explore new routes and look to nominate someone else for the gavel. Until then, the House is essentially at a standstill, unable to push through any legislation — including aid for Israel — until a new speaker is elected.