Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, did not succeed in becoming the speaker of the House after the initial round of voting. Jordan and his supporters had expected this outcome and plan to ask for additional voting opportunities. Ultimately, Jordan received 200 votes in favor, 232 votes against, and 20 Republican votes against him. Some voters chose to support previous candidates like former House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Within the first ten minutes of the voting, it became evident that Jordan did not have enough support to win in the initial round. In order to become speaker, Jordan would need to convince nearly every Republican to back him. All the members of the House who were in Washington were called to the chamber for the vote, which was both lengthy and occasionally filled with strong emotions. The room was packed with members occupying almost every seat, and they would occasionally stand to show their approval or disapproval.
Some individuals who still supported Scalise and McCarthy displayed limited applause or cheers when other members voted against Jordan. However, the loudest cheers from the Republican Party were heard when Scalise and McCarthy stood up to endorse the current nominee for the speaker position. Jordan faced criticism from certain members regarding his track record, while others expressed concerns that he might alienate voters in important swing districts. Additionally, there were those who remained upset about McCarthy’s previous removal from the job.
Members of the Appropriations and Armed Services Committees frequently objected, questioning Jordan’s readiness to carry out fundamental governance duties like requesting government funds and military spending. As they waited for the House clerk to announce that the first round of voting was officially over, members of various groupings gathered in the corners.
After a tense morning when members entered the chamber, the vote took place. Jordan and his friends entered and exited the speaker of the house’s formal office, which still had a sign outside with McCarthy’s name on it. Republicans had been gathering in this office complex often over the previous two weeks as they sought a unifying leader. Passing tourists and tour guides made jokes about how perhaps today the day would be the McCarthy sign was finally taken down.
The vote’s close margin was reminiscent of McCarthy’s ouster at the hands of eight disaffected GOP lawmakers, and Jordan’s election to the position may also be blocked by a tiny group of disgruntled House Republicans. Reps. Ken Buck of Colorado, Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, Kay Granger, the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, and four Republicans from New York who represent districts with a variety of political leanings were among the 20 Republicans who voted against Jordan.
The group that opposed Jordan’s candidacy for speaker also showed support for former New York GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin with three votes, seven votes for Scalise, and six votes for McCarthy. Jordan and his allies believed they had made significant progress in recent days, with Jordan personally trying to win over skeptical lawmakers. At the same time, his supporters outside of Congress criticized those who were hesitant and warned of potential political consequences if they did not support a candidate favored by the Trump-aligned GOP base.
Representative Bacon, who represents a seat that President Biden would take in 2020, voiced worry about other Republicans who weren’t playing by the rules. He highlighted that the issue is not just about Jim Jordan, but rather how Steve Scalise and McCarthy’s actions were handled. He noted that people’s views on this question varied, but he emphasized how urgent it is to deal with the current problems the country is experiencing. Bacon underlined the need to return to work right away and expressed his belief that Jordan has the ability to unite Republicans from all ideological backgrounds.
Jim Jordan’s Position:
Even if Jordan doesn’t have enough votes right away, he may insist on more voting rounds, just like McCarthy did when he was elected speaker in January after 15 rounds. A number of legislators, notably Republicans who are upset over McCarthy’s ouster and the resistance to Scalise as speaker, continue to publicly oppose Jordan. Representative Don Bacon of Nebraska raised concerns about certain members breaking the law to get what they wanted, highlighting the significance of justice and upholding the law.
Members who have previously opposed spending legislation, including Representative Buck, are concerned. The decision-making process for the subsequent speaker will involve financing for border security, military aid, and the November 17 funding deadline. A number of Republicans, including those from areas that President Biden won, opted not to say how they would vote on Jordan.
House Democrats have criticized Republicans for contemplating Jordan as the next speaker, especially in light of his role in the events of January 6. Rep. Jim McGovern, a Democrat from Massachusetts, referred to it as reprehensible that someone who participated in those acts is being considered for the position.
Even members of the Republican conference who had previously attacked McCarthy and criticized Scalise have pushed them to unify around Jordan. Given that he backed both McCarthy and Scalise, Pennsylvania Representative Scott Perry suggested that those who are irate shouldn’t concentrate their resentment toward Jordan. He urged that any complaints be made to those who are held accountable rather than to Jim Jordan.