The House of Representatives is set to vote for the third and final time on whether to elect Rep. Jim Jordan as the new speaker on Friday morning, according to his office. Jordan, a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump and a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, has failed to secure the 217 votes he needs to win the gavel in the previous two rounds of voting.
Jordan loses second vote by narrow margin
On Wednesday, Jordan lost the second vote by a narrow margin of 214 to 212, with 11 Republicans voting against him or abstaining. Among them were Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, who have been vocal critics of Trump and Jordan, and Reps. John Katko and Fred Upton, who voted to impeach Trump earlier this year.
Jordan had received the endorsement of Trump, who called him a “great leader” and a “fighter” in a statement on Tuesday. He also had the backing of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who withdrew from the race after being ousted by a 216-210 vote on Oct. 3. McCarthy said he supported Jordan because he was the “designee” of the Republican conference, which nominated him last week.
Jordan expected to concede and support McHenry as temporary speaker
According to sources familiar with his decision, Jordan is expected to announce on Thursday that he will not hold a third vote for the speakership and instead will support expanding the powers of Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry, who has been presiding over the House since McCarthy’s removal.
McHenry, a moderate Republican from North Carolina, has said he is not interested in becoming the permanent speaker and that he will give Jordan “as long as he needs” to clinch the speakership. However, he has also expressed frustration with the impasse and urged his colleagues to resolve it soon.
By backing McHenry, Jordan may not be giving up on his speakership bid entirely. He may still retain the “designee” title and continue to pursue votes from his fellow members. However, he may also face pressure from some Republicans who want to move on and focus on other issues, such as avoiding a government shutdown and passing a bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Jordan faces challenges from Democrats and some Republicans
Jordan’s quest for the speakership has been met with challenges from both Democrats and some Republicans, who have questioned his suitability for the role. Democrats have accused him of being complicit in Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and incite the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. They have also pointed to his involvement in a sexual abuse scandal at Ohio State University, where he was an assistant wrestling coach in the 1980s and 1990s.
Some Republicans have also expressed concerns about Jordan’s leadership style and agenda, which they fear may alienate moderate voters and jeopardize their chances of winning back the House in 2024. They have also complained about being threatened or harassed by Trump supporters for not voting for Jordan.
The House speaker is elected by a majority of all members present and voting, which means that Jordan needs at least 217 votes if all 435 members participate. The speaker does not have to be a member of the House, but no non-member has ever been elected.