House speaker election: Jim Jordan comes up short in first round of voting

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Rep. Jim Jordan hit resistance on Tuesday in his effort to become the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, as the Ohio congressman failed to score the support of enough fellow Republicans in an initial round of voting.

The tally was 200 votes for Jordan, while 232 lawmakers voted for other candidates. The House has 221 Republicans and 212 Democrats, with two vacancies. One GOP lawmaker was absent for the first ballot — Jordan supporter and Florida Congressman Gus Bilarakis, who was attending a funeral.

An ally of former President Donald Trump who secured his party’s nomination for the role on Friday, Jordan needs to have 217 votes in his favor, so he can only afford to have four fellow Republicans vote against him as no Democrats are expected to support him.

All 212 Democrats voted for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat, in the first ballot, while 20 GOP votes went to a range of other names.

After the first round of voting, the House’s temporary speaker, GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, declared a recess. Another round of voting should be expected today, a spokesman for Jordan said.

One possible key is whether support for Jordan declines or not in a second round of voting, according to Matt Glassman, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Government Affairs Institute. Jordan, a co-founder of the hardline House Freedom Caucus and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, can afford to lose in the first ballot, but he can’t afford having the number of holdouts grow in later ballots, Glassman wrote in a post on X before Tuesday’s voting began. “If the deadlock remains stable, he has time,” the Georgetown expert said.

Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy needed 15 rounds of voting in January to secure the job. Nineteen House Republicans voted against McCarthy in the first two rounds of voting nine months ago, then 20 opposed him in the third round and other ballots.

Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, who has been the No. 4 House Republican, gave a nominating speech for Jordan before Tuesday’s voting.

“Whether it’s Judiciary chair, conservative leader or representative for his constituents in west central Ohio, whether on the wrestling mat or in the committee room, Jim Jordan is strategic, scrappy, tough and principled,” she said.

Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar of California sharply criticized Jordan as he gave a speech nominating Jeffries.

“We’re talking about someone who has spent his entire career trying to hold our country back,” Aguilar said. He said Jordan’s work has included “putting our national security in danger” and “wasting taxpayer dollars on baseless investigations.”

U.S. stocks
SPX

DJIA

COMP
were losing ground Tuesday. Investors are weighing geopolitical risks, encouraging earnings from big banks and better-than expected retail sales.

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