Jim Jordan allies' arm-twisting backfired in failed vote for House speaker

The pugilistic Judiciary Committee chair came up short in his first vote for House speaker, and it isn't clear his GOP detractors will flip

Rep. Jim Jordan loses speaker vote
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) loses speaker vote
(Image credit: Matt McClain / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

House Republicans put Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) forward for House speaker on Tuesday, but a larger-than-expected 20 Republicans voted for someone else, giving him 200 votes, far short of the 217 he needed to win the gavel. Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) got 212 votes from his united Democratic caucus. Jordan vowed to "keep working" and hold another vote Wednesday, scrapping a planned second round Tuesday evening after it was clear he would fall short again, maybe even lose votes. 

The House has been without a speaker since a group of eight Republicans, mostly far-right Freedom Caucus hardliners, ousted Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) two weeks ago. The GOP's first replacement candidate, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), withdrew last week after it became clear he didn't have enough GOP votes to succeed. McCarthy only won the seat after 15 rounds of voting over five days, and Jordan's supporters have expressed confidence that "consecutive public floor votes will force holdouts to flip their way," too, The Associated Press reported. 

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.