Jim Jordan digs in for a third vote for House speaker as Republicans refuse to give him gavel

by Gabriel Martinez
Jim Jordan Withdrawn as Speaker Nominee

Despite facing increasing opposition, Representative Jim Jordan remains steadfast in his bid for the position of House Speaker, with a critical vote scheduled for Friday. However, his fellow Republicans have issued a stark warning to the staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, asserting that no further threats or promises will secure their support.

The House is set to convene for Jordan’s third attempt to claim the gavel, but the GOP majority finds itself divided with no clear strategy to unite, elect a new speaker, and resume legislative work, which has languished since the removal of Kevin McCarthy earlier in the month.

In a news conference at the Capitol, Jordan, known for his popularity among the GOP’s right-wing base, invoked his Ohio roots and positioned his long-shot campaign as a continuation of the legacy of American innovators, including the Wright brothers. He urged his colleagues to elect him as the Speaker of the House, emphasizing the hunger for change among the American people.

Despite his determination, Jordan’s third attempt is unlikely to yield better results. In fact, Friday’s vote is expected to yield an even worse outcome for the Judiciary Committee chairman. This is largely due to centrist Republicans within the party who are rebelling against the aggressive tactics employed to secure their votes. Some have even reported receiving threatening phone calls and death threats.

The ongoing stalemate has effectively paralyzed the U.S. House for over two weeks, leaving a significant gap in American democracy’s functioning, especially during times of domestic and international challenges. The House Republican majority appears to be at a loss for how to resolve the political turmoil and resume its legislative duties.

Representative Carlos Gimenez from Florida stated that Jordan lacks the necessary votes to become Speaker and that some lawmakers have called on him to withdraw from the race.

One proposed solution, granting additional powers to the interim speaker pro tempore, Representative Patrick McHenry, to bring the House back into session and conduct essential business, was swiftly rejected by Jordan’s conservative allies, with Representative Jim Banks of Indiana labeling it a “betrayal.”

The next steps remain uncertain, as frustrated Republicans anticipate the possibility of the House remaining closed for an extended period, potentially until the mid-November deadline for approving funding, risking a federal government shutdown.

In the words of veteran legislator Representative Tom Cole from Oklahoma, the goal is to find a Republican-only solution to the impasse, highlighting the abnormality of the current majority’s actions.

Jordan, however, shows no signs of stepping aside and appears determined to wait out his opponents, even as his chances of becoming House Speaker dwindle.

Representative Thomas Massie from Kentucky drew a parallel with Speaker McCarthy’s initial setbacks and eventual success in January’s historic election, suggesting that Jordan may follow a similar path. Nevertheless, Representative John Rutherford from Florida expressed skepticism, stating that it is unlikely to happen.

Many view Jordan as too extreme for a central position of power in the United States, given his role as second in line to the presidency. Following a first failed vote on Tuesday, Jordan faced even more opposition on a second ballot, with 22 Republicans voting against him.

Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks from Iowa, who voted against Jordan on the second ballot, emphasized her refusal to support a bully and revealed that she had received credible death threats.

With Republicans holding the majority in the House by a narrow margin of 221-212, it appears that no Republican candidate can secure the necessary 217 votes for a clear majority to become Speaker.

A closed-door meeting on Thursday, aimed at regrouping, grew heated at times, with different Republican factions blaming each other for the chaos within their majority.

Despite the tumultuous situation, Representative Matt Gaetz from Florida, a key figure in the Speaker’s removal two weeks ago, expressed no regrets, emphasizing the goal of shaking up Washington, D.C., even if it’s a messy process.

Elevating McHenry to an expanded speaker’s role could potentially offer a solution to the crisis, but it is not a straightforward political move. Republicans are reluctant to cooperate with Democrats in a bipartisan manner, and reaching a consensus within the party to grant McHenry more powers is challenging, particularly given the opposition from hard-line conservatives.

McHenry himself has declined to assume the role more permanently, reiterating his focus on facilitating the election of the next Speaker in accordance with the Constitution and House rules.

In summary, Jim Jordan’s pursuit of the House Speaker position faces significant challenges and opposition within the Republican Party, leading to a prolonged legislative stalemate and uncertainty regarding the House’s functioning.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about House Speaker Election

What is the current situation regarding the House Speaker election?

The current situation regarding the House Speaker election is one of deep division within the Republican Party. Rep. Jim Jordan is making his third attempt to become the Speaker of the House, but his chances are diminishing due to opposition from fellow Republicans.

Why are Republicans divided over Jim Jordan’s candidacy for Speaker?

Republicans are divided over Jim Jordan’s candidacy for Speaker due to concerns about his hardline tactics and extreme positions. Some centrist Republicans are revolting against him, and there have been reports of harassing phone calls and death threats directed at them.

What is the impact of the ongoing stalemate on the functioning of the U.S. House?

The ongoing stalemate has severely impacted the functioning of the U.S. House. It has been shut down for over two weeks, leaving a void in American democracy’s operation during a time of domestic and international challenges.

Are there any alternative solutions being considered to resolve the crisis?

One alternative solution being considered is giving interim Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Patrick McHenry more powers to bring the House back into session and conduct crucial business. However, this proposal faces challenges, including reluctance to cooperate with Democrats and opposition from hard-line conservatives.

Why is Jim Jordan’s candidacy seen as controversial?

Jim Jordan’s candidacy is seen as controversial because many view him as too extreme for a central seat of U.S. power, given his alignment with former President Donald Trump and his involvement in contentious events like the January 6 Capitol attack.

Is there a possibility of a government shutdown if the House remains closed?

There is a possibility of a government shutdown if the House remains closed, particularly if a resolution is not reached by the mid-November deadline for approving funding. The longer the legislative impasse continues, the greater the risk of such a shutdown.

How does Jim Jordan’s candidacy align with his party’s goals?

Jim Jordan’s candidacy aligns with the goals of the Republican Party’s right-wing activist base, but it faces opposition from more centrist members who question his ability to lead and unite the party.

What is the role of Representative Patrick McHenry in this crisis?

Representative Patrick McHenry serves as the interim Speaker Pro Tempore and has been suggested as a potential solution to the crisis. However, he has declined to take on a more permanent role, focusing on facilitating the election of the next Speaker according to House rules.

How has the internal strife within the Republican Party affected legislative progress?

The internal strife within the Republican Party has significantly affected legislative progress, leading to a legislative gridlock and a lack of consensus on key issues. Lawmakers are struggling to find a way to resume their legislative duties amidst the division.

What are the prospects for resolving the House Speaker election situation?

The prospects for resolving the House Speaker election situation remain uncertain. Jim Jordan appears determined to continue his campaign, but opposition within his party and the absence of a clear majority candidate make the path forward unclear.

More about House Speaker Election

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PuzzledCitizen October 20, 2023 - 4:10 pm

gov shutdown loomin’? they gotta figure it out soon. this ain’t normal!

BigTimeReporter October 20, 2023 - 7:32 pm

jordan’s got some serious probs. too extreme for some, and folks gettin’ threats? that’s nuts!

CapitolWatcher October 20, 2023 - 11:24 pm

dang, mchenry won’t take more powers. this is a hot mess!

PoliticsGeek23 October 21, 2023 - 7:35 am

smh, can’t believe the house been closed for 2 weeks. we need them to work! mcCarthy got booted, now it’s all chaos.

Anonymous123 October 21, 2023 - 11:26 am

wow, this is a big mess in the house! jordan really wants to be speaker, but folks in his party not happy bout it. lotsa fightin’ goin’ on.


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