House Republicans scramble to find new speaker nominee after they ditch Jim Jordan

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Republican lawmakers on Friday ditched Rep. Jim Jordan as their nominee for speaker of the House of Representatives after his bid to secure the gavel failed for a third time. 

It is unclear whom the GOP will nominate next and whether any Republican candidate can secure the votes needed to become speaker. The House has been leaderless for well over two weeks now, with no clear path to end the impasse as Congress faces a deadline to avoid a government shutdown and the White House calls for urgent security assistance for Israel.

Jordan had insisted on remaining in the race despite failing repeatedly to secure the gavel as support for his bid eroded further with each consecutive House vote. On Friday, 25 Republicans voted against Jordan, who boasts the support of former President Donald Trump. Twenty-two voted against him in the previous vote.

Republicans subsequently met behind closed doors to reconsider Jordan’s nomination after his failure on the House floor. GOP lawmakers ditched him in what amounted to a no-confidence vote.

Republicans will now go home for the weekend and reconvene Monday, when they will meet for a candidate forum at 6:30 p.m. ET. They will then aim for a GOP conference vote at 9 a.m. Tuesday, with the intention of having a floor vote as soon as that same day, according to interim Speaker Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.

Next up?

Now that Rep. Jim Jordan is out, here are the Republicans who are running or considering running for speaker, as of Friday afternoon:

  • Rep. Kevin Hern, Oklahoma
  • Rep. Jack Bergman, Michigan
  • Rep. Mike Johnson, Louisiana
  • Rep. Tom Emmer, Minnesota
  • Rep. Byron Donalds, Florida
  • Rep. Jodey Arrington, Texas
  • Rep. Roger Williams, Texas
  • Rep. Pete Sessions, Texas
  • Rep. Austin Scott, Georgia
  • Rep. Dan Meuser, Pennsylvania

Source: NBC News

Before losing the nomination, Jordan had sought to keep pushing into the weekend. He alluded to the 15 rounds of voting that former Speaker Kevin McCarthy needed before securing the gavel.

“There’s been multiple rounds of votes for speaker before — we all know that,” Jordan told reporters at a news conference Friday morning, before the vote. “Our plan this weekend is to get a speaker elected to the House as soon as possible so we can help the American people.”

McCarthy formally nominated Jordan before the House on Friday. Lawmakers laughed as the California Republican addressed the chamber.

“Being speaker is not an easy job, especially in this conference,” McCarthy said. “I’ve seen Jim spend his entire career fighting for freedom. No matter what, no matter the odds — and I know he’s ready for the job.”

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the Democratic candidate for speaker, called Friday for moderate Republicans to abandon Jordan and work on a bipartisan solution to end the impasse.

“End the attachment to the extremist Jim Jordan and join with Democrats in finding a bipartisan path forward,” Jeffries told reporters. “We recognize that Jim Jordan is a clear and present danger to the American people. And we are going to be here for as long as it takes to end this national nightmare.”

Jordan’s failure Friday came after Republicans abandoned a proposal to temporarily empower McHenry to oversee the passage of legislation until the deeply divided party settles on a permanent replacement.

Democrats had expressed openness to supporting McHenry. The interim speaker received six Republican votes Friday.

Republicans appear to have no viable path to elect a speaker more than two weeks after a faction of eight GOP lawmakers led by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida ousted McCarthy.

Gaetz claimed Friday that Republican holdouts are taking out their anger over McCarthy’s ouster by blocking Jordan from becoming speaker.

“The eight of us have said that we are willing to accept censure, sanction, suspension, removal from the Republican conference,” Gaetz told reporters. “If what these holdouts need is a pound of our flesh, we’re willing to give it to them in order to see them elect Jim Jordan for speaker.”

Before the third vote Friday, Rep. Bob Good of Virginia said Jordan will win if the House holds repeated ballots, noting that the wall of opposition to McCarthy’s speaker bid in January did not break until the 12th round. Good is one of the Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy earlier this month.

The leadership vacuum in the House has left Congress unable to pass spending legislation, with the clock ticking toward a Nov. 17 deadline to avoid a government shutdown.

Congress is also unable to address what President Joe Biden has described as urgent national security priorities. Biden on Thursday said he would ask Congress to pass security assistance for Israel as it wages war against Hamas, as well as for Ukraine as Kyiv battles the Russian invasion.

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