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Jordan fails on third ballot as Republican opposition to his speakership grows

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, arrives at his office on Capitol Hill on Thursday. He says he will continue to pursue his bid for speaker of the House.
Updated October 20, 2023 at 12:07 PM ET

House Republicans once again voted – this time by a bigger margin — to reject the nomination of Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, to be the next Speaker of the House.

Jordan lost a third vote this week as opposition to his nomination grew from 20 GOP defections to 22 and now 25. It is unclear how Republicans will proceed as the House remains unable to conduct any business without an elected speaker.

The final tally was 210 votes for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, 194 for Jordan and 25 for other Republicans.

Earlier Friday, Jordan, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, told reporters the House needs to “elect a speaker as soon as possible” so “we can go to work for the American people.”

Jordan needs to win over virtually every House Republican to succeed, and he now seems further away from that goal.

Jordan met Thursday with the Republicans who voted against him on the two previous ballots. Jordan lost 20 Republicans on the first vote, and the number grew to 22 for the second vote. Rep. Carlos Giménez, R-Fla., was one of several members who left the meeting under the impression that nobody had changed their minds.

“It was productive, but it did not change my mind,” Giménez told reporters. “I’m not voting for Jordan.”

Many members have complained that Jordan and his supporters have bullied and threatened members, their staffs and families. Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., told reporters on Thursday that he and his wife have continued to receive threats and fear for their safety.

“I didn’t sleep well last night,” he said. “I called her and I go, ‘How you doing?’ She said, ‘I slept really good. I had a loaded gun.’ … It was ugly phone calls.”

Rep. Jen Kiggans, R-Va., was one of at least two members who reported receiving credible death threats.

The process has left members angry and frustrated. Many have told reporters they fear that nobody can win sufficient support from Republicans to be elected speaker.

The impasse has persisted even under the increasing threat of a government shutdown if Congress does not pass a spending bill by Nov. 17. President Biden is also sending a new request for money to address the wars in Ukraine and Israel on Friday.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
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