House speaker election: Jim Jordan loses in third ballot as Republican opposition grows again

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Rep. Jim Jordan continued to face resistance Friday in his bid to become the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, with the number of fellow Republicans voting against the Ohio congressman rising to 25 in a third ballot, up from 22 in the prior ballot.

House GOP lawmakers were slated to hold a meeting around 1 p.m. Eastern Friday, and there were expectations they would vote on whether Jordan should continue to be their nominee for speaker.

Jordan hasn’t sounded like he’s close to throwing in the towel, as he indicated at a news conference before the third round of voting that he planned to keep pushing.

“There’s been multiple rounds of votes for speaker before,” he said during the news conference, referring to how former Speaker Kevin McCarthy needed 15 ballots to secure the job in January.

“Our plan this weekend is to get a speaker elected to the House of Representatives as soon as possible so we can help the American people,” he also said.

Jordan — an ally of former President Donald Trump and co-founder of the hardline House Freedom Caucus — had 22 GOP lawmakers vote against him in a second ballot on Wednesday. On Tuesday, 20 fellow Republicans backed other candidates in an initial round of voting.

Jordan needs a simple majority of House lawmakers to back him in order to become speaker of the narrowly divided chamber, which has 221 Republicans and 212 Democrats, with two vacancies. That would have been 215 votes in the third ballot as there were some absences Friday.

All 210 Democrats present Friday voted for their nominee, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, while 194 Republicans backed Jordan and 25 GOP lawmakers supported other candidates.

Analysts have been warning that the process of picking a new speaker is preventing the Republican-run House from addressing crucial matters, such as supporting Israel and passing a budget to avoid a government shutdown next month that could rattle markets. 

Related: Israel, Ukraine aid could run up against House dysfunction, making for ‘tragedy,’ analyst says

And see: Biden seeks $14 billion for Israel, $61 billion for Ukraine in request to Congress

With the House looking rudderless for more than two weeks, the chamber’s temporary speaker, GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, has drawn calls to take on the job more permanently. But a measure that would have McHenry serve in the post until January stalled on Thursday afternoon due to objections from a number of Republicans, even as Jordan offered his support for it.

“This resolution is really dangerous. We need to have a NORMAL election for speaker. @Jim_Jordan, I respect you but it is a massive mistake to back this,” GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida said Thursday in a post on X as the measure lost momentum.

Given the GOP opposition, the McHenry option would require some Democratic support. Jeffries, a New York Democrat, has continued to signal openness to it.

“Conversations hopefully will intensify today, perhaps continue throughout the weekend, and get us to a place where we can reopen the House no later than Monday of next week,” Jeffries told reporters on Friday after the third ballot.

The GOP opposition to Jordan stems from a range of concerns, including that his speakership could lead to cuts in defense
ITA
spending, as well as the view that he didn’t provide enough support for the speaker bid of House Majority Leader Steve Scalise. Jordan’s Republican opponents also have said they’ve faced death threats for their stance, with Rep. Drew Ferguson of Georgia saying Thursday that the House GOP “does not need a bully as the Speaker.”

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who led the drive to oust McCarthy from his post more than two weeks ago, said he and the other GOP lawmakers who opposed McCarthy have made an offer to their colleagues who aren’t supporting Jordan, in an effort to get them to switch their votes.

“The eight of us have said that we are willing to accept censure, sanction, suspension, removal from the Republican conference,” Gaetz told reporters after the third ballot, adding that the group will continue to vote with Republicans.

Another Jordan supporter, GOP Rep. Bob Good of Virginia, said the Ohioan should stick with his bid, noting McCarthy went through many rounds.

“We believe if we keep voting Jim Jordan will be elected speaker,” Good told reporters.

U.S. stocks
SPX

DJIA

COMP
were losing ground Friday, as rising bond yields
BX:TMUBMUSD10Y
and geopolitical tensions continue to take a toll. 

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