Trump loyalist Jim Jordan lost a third vote for House speaker Friday as more Republican lawmakers abandoned the GOP nominee and a sense his candidacy was doomed spread within his party.
(Bloomberg) — Trump loyalist Jim Jordan lost a third vote for House speaker Friday as more Republican lawmakers abandoned the GOP nominee and a sense his candidacy was doomed spread within his party.
Several alternative GOP candidates are already preparing to launch bids for the job and more Republicans are expressing exasperation that Jordan is dragging out an election process that already has taken more than two weeks by continuing with his bid.
“It’s kind of like baseball: Three strikes, you’re out,” Republican Greg Murphy of North Carolina said on his way into the vote.
Republicans now plan to meet privately, former speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted Oct. 3, said after the vote.
“We are in a very bad place right now,” McCarthy, a Jordan ally, added.
The level of new defections may not be enough to deter Jordan from continuing his bid through further rounds of voting.
Read More: Rivals for US Speaker Wait in the Wings as Jordan’s Bid Unravels
Twenty-five Republicans voted against Jordan on Friday, up from 22 in a second ballot on Wednesday and 20 in an initial vote earlier in the week. Oklahoma Republican Kevin Hern said Republicans are still focused on electing Jordan.
The House is paralyzed because of the leadership vacuum, unable to act on President Joe Biden’s $106 billion request for emergency aid for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and border enforcement or on funding to avoid an impending mid-November government shutdown.
Bitter divisions among Republicans over tactics and ideological purity have only hardened in the succession fight since eight conservative hardliners overthrew Oct. 3.
Jordan is Republicans’ second nominee to replace McCarthy. The party’s original nominee, No. 2 Republican leader Steve Scalise, withdrew from the contest when it became clear couldn’t get enough support from hardliners.
The endorsement of former President Donald Trump gave Jordan an edge with conservatives in the chamber. But he faces opposition from moderates and key Republicans on the House Appropriations panel.
Jordan’s weakness was clear as soon as the party nominated him. In a secret ballot of Republicans following his nomination, a quarter indicated they wouldn’t vote for him.
“He knows, you all know, that he’s not going to get the votes for sure,” Republican Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, a Jordan opponent, said on his way into the vote Friday. “The question is, how long does he want to prolong this? For what? To what end?”
Jordan had been counting on mobilizing the party’s populist wing to pressure recalcitrant lawmakers to support his bid. Right-wing media figures including Glenn Beck and Fox News’s Sean Hannity unleashed attacks on his opponents.
Instead, a flare-up of threats intensified distrust among Republican members of Congress and stirred accusations that Jordan and his allies were engaging in bullying. One lawmaker even cited intimidation as the reason he switched from supporting Jordan on the first ballot to opposing him on the second.
Read More: Death Threats, Intimidation Mar Speaker Race in Age of Extremism
Jordan has been in talks with New York Republican holdouts about raising the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions, but those holdouts say he has not gone far enough to meet their demands for them to vote for him
He tried to rally support for his bid to be House speaker with a press conference early Friday. He suggested that the House would remain in through the weekend to elect a speaker.
Jordan had earlier sought to delay a new vote on his own speaker bid by expanding caretaker speaker Patrick McHenry’s powers so that the House could resume business. Such a move would have allowed Jordan months to muster support from GOP lawmakers.
But that idea collapsed under fierce backlash from a number of conservative Republicans.
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.
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