Jim Jordan loses first round of votes for House Speaker

October 17, 2023

On Tuesday the House of Representatives voted 232-200 against Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) for Speaker. 

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) nominated Jordan, calling him a “patriot” and an “America First warrior who wins the toughest of fights.”

The vote in the full House came two weeks after the House’s unprecedented ousting of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from the Speakership last week, and it occurred as House Republicans have been under pressure to move quickly to choose a new leader from members of their own party in the Senate amid a looming deadline to pass a federal budget for fiscal year 2024 and avoid a government shutdown in mid-November, as well as calls to approve appropriations for additional military aid to Israel and Ukraine.

On Friday, Jordan had won a closed-door vote among House Republicans for the nomination for Speaker over Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA). The vote was 124-81 in favor of Jordan—but still far below the number necessary 217 he needed to secure the Speakership. 

There were 433 members of the House present for the vote Tuesday. Thus, Jordan could not afford more than four Republican “no” votes as all 212 Democrats, as expected, voted en mass for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) when the formal vote takes place—just as they did in January when McCarthy underwent a near-historic 15 rounds of voting before taking the gavel. 

Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) nominated Jeffries, saying that only the Democrat “can be trusted to keep his word” and accusing Jordan of “inciting violence in this chamber”—a reference to the deadly January 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. 

Former President Trump has endorsed Jordan, who to this day refuses to admit that President Biden won the 2020 election.

Further, Jordan has a reputation for being a partisan firebrand who currently chairs not just the House Judiciary Committee but also the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, which he helped create to investigate what he’s called “this weaponization of the DOJ against the American people.”

Twenty Republicans voted for other GOP Reps.—McCarthy, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Mike Garcia of California, Tom Emmer of Minnesota Tom Cole of Oklahoma, and former Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York, none of whom were nominated on Tuesday—despite a push by the party leadership to get them to vote “present” to reduce the number of votes Jordan could afford to lose. 

Jordan had called for Tuesday’s vote on Monday, telling CNN, “It’s not about pressuring anybody just about we got to have a speaker. You can’t open the House and do the work of the American people and help our dearest and closest friend Israel.”  

After he told reporters Tuesday he was willing to go as many rounds as necessary, saying, “Whatever it takes to get a Speaker today,” around 5:30pm ET House Republicans pushed off a second round of voting until 11am Wednesday.

PHOTO: House Speaker vote Tuesday

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