Republicans abandoned Trump loyalist Jim Jordan on Friday as their nominee for House speaker, infuriating conservative hardliners and deepening turmoil among lawmakers as they confront emergency aid requests for Israel and Ukraine.
(Bloomberg) — Republicans abandoned Trump loyalist Jim Jordan on Friday as their nominee for House speaker, infuriating conservative hardliners and deepening turmoil among lawmakers as they confront emergency aid requests for Israel and Ukraine.
House Republicans voted 112 to 86 in a secret ballot to rescind official backing for Jordan, the second speaker nominee whose candidacy has collapsed because of seething divisions and distrust within the party.
That leaves the House paralyzed and unable to act just as the focus in responding to the escalating Middle East war shifts to Congress. President Joe Biden on Friday made a $106 billion emergency request for aid to Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and US border enforcement. The US government also will shut down in mid-November without action on funding.
The prolonged factional strife risks heightening tensions between the party’s emerging populist wing and traditional Republicans as well as undermining public confidence in the GOP’s ability to govern heading into an election year.
Republicans revoked Jordan’s nomination after he lost a third ballot of the full House for election as speaker earlier in the day, with increasing numbers of GOP lawmakers defecting from him.
The earliest Republicans will be able to nominate a replacement is Tuesday, three weeks after eight conservative hardliners ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Oct. 3. Party leaders sent lawmakers home for the weekend with a new nomination vote scheduled for Tuesday.
“We’ll have to go back to the drawing board,” McCarthy said. “We’re in a very bad position as a party.”
Republicans who have announced a bid for speaker include Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, Pete Sessions of Texas, Austin Scott of Georgia, Byron Donalds of Florida and Jack Bergman of Michigan. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, the party’s no. 3 leader, is also in the mix, calling lawmakers to test support for a bid. In addition, Mike Johnson of Louisiana, Dan Meuser of Pennsylvania and Jodey Arrington of Texas are considering it.
McCarthy endorsed Emmer on Friday afternoon.
Read More: House Speaker Contenders Rush From Wings After Jordan’s Downfall
“We need to come together and figure out who the speaker is going to be,” Jordan said after Republicans voted to rescind his nomination. “It’s time to unite.”
Jordan is Republicans’ second nominee to fail since McCarthy’s ouster. The party’s original nominee, No. 2 Republican leader Steve Scalise, withdrew from the contest when it became clear he couldn’t get enough support from hardliners.
Yet much as hardliners balked at Scalise, moderate lawmakers and key members of the House Appropriations Committee refused to back Jordan.
Republican Matt Gaetz of Florida who led the ouster of McCarthy, was livid at his colleagues’ abandonment of Jordan.
“The most popular Republican in the United States Congress just lost on a secret ballot in the bowels of the Capitol. This is as swampy as it gets,” Gaetz said.
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.
White House spokesman Andrew Bates criticized the GOP-controlled House’s inability to act on legislation.
“House Republicans need to end their chaotic infighting and their competitions to out-extreme one another, and instead join President Biden in working on urgent priorities for American families shared by both parties in Congress,” Bates said in a statement.
–With assistance from Mackenzie Hawkins, Maeve Sheehey and Jordan Fabian.
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