WASHINGTON — Rep. Jim Jordan lost 20 Republican votes Tuesday in his first round of balloting for House speaker, creating an uphill climb to win the gavel.
Another vote is expected, although the timing of that is unclear.
What to know
Jim Jordan’s rapid rise has been cheered by Trump and the far right
How the vote for a new speaker works
Scalise ends bid to become speaker as holdouts refuse to back him
McCarthy was an early architect of the GOP majority that became his downfall
Speaker McCarthy ousted in historic House vote
GOP congressman wants to stick with McCarthy
A congressman who has opposed Jordan’s quest for speakership from the start says the conference made a decision in January in backing Kevin McCarthy and should stick to it.
Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Florida was among 20 Republicans who voted for alternatives to Jordan in Tuesday’s House speaker vote, dooming his bid on the first round of balloting. Gimenez cast his vote for McCarthy, who was ousted from the job two weeks ago.
Gimenez said, “We should go back to what we had.” He asked, “Why would we change our horse in midstride?
He added, “I’m not going to be a part of a coup.”
Jordan holdouts face ‘meat grinder’ of pressure
Rep. Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican and Jordan ally who has resisted party leadership in the past, said the holdouts on the House speaker vote would now be put through a “meat grinder” of pressure.
He predicted they would cave and support Jordan by the end of the week after pressure from conservative voters who are being told to call member offices and close friends.
“I don’t think any of these 20 have the stomach for forcing that vote over and over,” Massie said.
That strategy has the potential to backfire.
Leading up to the vote, some Republicans were resentful of the pressure put on them by Jordan’s allies and complained they were being threatened with primary opponents if they didn’t support him as speaker.
No quick second round of voting, McCarthy says
McCarthy says he does not expected another vote on House speaker right away.
The House went into recess shortly Tuesday afternoon after Jordan lost the first round of voting to become the chamber’s leader.
McCarthy said the Republican conference would regroup and talk to the members who have “differences of opinion” on who the next House speaker should be.
He noted that Jordan’s first round of balloting looked similar to his. McCarthy lost 19 votes back in January in his first election for speaker. Jordan lost 20.
Jordan loses first round of balloting on speaker vote
Jordan has come up short in the first round of voting for House speaker.
The Ohio congressman did even worse than Kevin McCarthy did on the first balloting of his election back in January.
Jordan lost 20 Republican votes, well more than the three he could spare to win the speaker’s gavel.
More rounds of voting are expected as Jordan works to shore up support to replace McCarthy for the job and the leader of the GOP’s hard-right flank moves to take a central seat of U.S. power. But it’s unclear when the next vote will take place.
The Jordan holdouts are a mix of pragmatists, ranging from seasoned legislators and committee chairs worried about governing to newer lawmakers from districts where their voters back home prefer President Joe Biden to former President Donald Trump.
Jordan trying to sway holdouts
Jordan appears to be talking to some Republicans about switching their vote after he came up short on the first round.
Twenty Republicans have voted against Jordan, an outcome way worse than his allies were hoping for.
For his part, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is smiling and joking with colleagues as he no longer bears the weight of cajoling them to unite. He had earlier predicted that Jordan would clinch the gavel on the first round.
The vote hasn’t yet closed, and members can still change their ballots.