Trump loyalist Jim Jordan lost ground Wednesday in his second ballot for US speaker, imperiling his candidacy for the job as Republicans struggle to fill a leadership vacuum that has paralyzed the House.
(Bloomberg) — Trump loyalist Jim Jordan lost ground Wednesday in his second ballot for US speaker, imperiling his candidacy for the job as Republicans struggle to fill a leadership vacuum that has paralyzed the House.
Twenty-two Republicans cast their votes for other speaker candidates, two more than the 20 who denied Jordan the majority of votes he needed on Tuesday. But the 59-year-old Ohio Republican said he’s not dropping out of the race.
“We’ll keep talking to members,” Jordan told reporters.
Another speaker vote is planned for Thursday, people familiar with House Republicans’ plans said.
The House hasn’t been able to conduct business since the Oct. 3 ouster of Speaker Kevin McCarthy. That means lawmakers can’t address an impending government shutdown or an escalating war in the Middle East.
After lawmakers cast their votes, Jordan walked off the House floor and huddled with McCarthy in a side room. The House went into recess, with no votes scheduled.
“I just didn’t think he was going to get there. It’s time to move on,” said Representative Vern Buchanan, a Florida Republican, one of the lawmakers who switched from voting for Jordan on Tuesday to against him on Wednesday.
Read More: What’s Next After Jim Jordan Fails Again in House Speaker Bid
The endorsement of former President Donald Trump gave Jordan an edge with conservatives in the chamber. But Jordan, a hardliner known for his bombastic personality, has been rejected by GOP moderates and traditionalists who have balked at his insurgent tactics in his campaign to win the job.
“This candidate does not and will not be able to get the Republican votes to become speaker,” Republican Mario Diaz-Balart, who has opposed Jordan’s candidacy, said. “So then now I think all of us have to get together and figure out what’s next.”
Tempering expectations, a key Jordan ally warned shortly before Wednesday’s vote that the Ohio Republican would likely lose ground from Tuesday.
“Just so there’s no surprises: Jordan will likely have FEWER votes today than yesterday — as I expected,” Representative Scott Perry said on X, the site formerly known as Twitter. “This is the fight – which Jim Jordan represents – to end the status quo, and it ain’t easy.”
Perry is the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of hardline Republicans that Jordan helped found.
Jordan’s elevation would be a victory for Republicans’ emerging populist wing. The House Judiciary Committee chairman has been one of Trump’s most vociferous congressional defenders and is one of the leaders of the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
He supported Trump’s denial of his loss in the 2020 presidential election and voted to overturn Arizona and Pennsylvania electoral college count results after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Days later, Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
–With assistance from Maeve Sheehey, Zach C. Cohen, Mackenzie Hawkins and Ari Natter.
(Updates with next vote timing in fourth paragraph)
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