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Speaker Election: When and How Does It Work?

by Ryan Lee
5 comments
Speaker Election Process

Rep. Jim Jordan’s bid for House speakership faced significant opposition during the first ballot, with 20 Republicans voting against him. The House adjourned for the day as Rep. Jordan worked to garner support among those who opposed his candidacy.

This marks the second time in this Congress that the House has encountered multiple rounds of voting for the speaker, reminiscent of the extended struggle in January when Kevin McCarthy secured the gavel on the 15th attempt.

Twenty GOP lawmakers opted for a different candidate than Jordan, with many expressing their discontent over the removal of McCarthy as speaker earlier in the month and the subsequent process to replace him.

Conservatives have launched an intense campaign to persuade the remaining holdouts to support Jordan. However, some of his opponents are resolute in preventing him from becoming speaker.

To secure the speakership, Jordan must sway at least 16 Republicans to his side, as Democrats are expected to continue supporting their nominee, Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York. Currently, Republicans control the House by a slim margin of 221-212.

The House is scheduled to return for a second round of voting on Wednesday.

Speaker Election: When and How Does It Work?

The House convened at noon on Tuesday for the first of several votes to elect a speaker, an extraordinary event following the unexpected removal of Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., from the position after just nine months.

Typically, the speaker is elected every two years in January when the House organizes for a new session. An election can only occur if the current speaker dies, resigns, or is removed from office.

Once the House reached a quorum, each party nominated its candidate for speaker, with Republicans nominating Jordan and Democrats again selecting Jeffries.

The speaker election is a rare occasion when all lawmakers are seated in the chamber, akin to the State of the Union Address.

How Many Votes Are Required to Elect a Speaker?

To become speaker, a candidate needs a majority of the votes from present and voting House members. During the initial vote, there were 432 Democrats and Republicans present, with one GOP lawmaker absent. Currently, two House seats are vacant, requiring Jordan or any other Republican candidate to secure 217 votes to win.

The House will continue to hold roll call votes for the speaker until someone wins. Jordan and his supporters have emphasized their determination to persist, underscoring the urgency of electing a speaker for the House.

Supporters and Opponents of Jordan

Jim Jordan, known for his alignment with the party’s hardline right-wing base, still faces opposition from some members who question his ability to lead. Concerns have been raised about whether he can effectively manage foreign policy, engage with heads of state, handle domestic policy, and address security issues as the speaker.

Rep. Steve Scalise initially won his colleagues’ nomination for speaker but faced resistance from some Republicans. Jordan, who came in second, endorsed Scalise and urged fellow Republicans to support him, but over a dozen members refused, leading Scalise to withdraw.

Many of those who initially supported Scalise but now back Jordan have been actively lobbying critics to change their stance, highlighting the influence of the party’s grassroots base in the vote. Additionally, some Republicans opposing Jordan come from swing districts and are preparing for challenging reelection campaigns next year.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Speaker Election Process

What is the significance of Rep. Jim Jordan’s loss in the first ballot for House speaker?

Rep. Jim Jordan’s loss in the first ballot for House speaker is significant because it signals strong opposition within the Republican Party to his bid for the speakership. This opposition emerged as 20 Republicans voted against him during the initial round of voting. It also highlights the turmoil within the Republican Party surrounding the removal of Kevin McCarthy as speaker and the subsequent process to replace him.

How does the speaker election process work in the House of Representatives?

The speaker election process in the House of Representatives is a crucial part of organizing the House for a new session. It involves several key steps:

  1. Nominations: Once the House reaches a quorum, each party nominates its candidate for speaker. In this case, Republicans nominated Jim Jordan, while Democrats nominated Hakeem Jeffries.

  • Voting: To become speaker, a candidate must secure a majority of the votes from House members who are present and voting. The total number of votes needed depends on the number of members present.

  • Multiple Rounds: The House can vote as many times as necessary until a candidate wins. If no one secures a majority in the first round, subsequent rounds are held until a speaker is elected.

  • How many votes are required to elect a speaker in the House?

    To elect a speaker in the House, a candidate needs a majority of the votes from members who are present and voting. In the initial vote mentioned in the text, there were 432 Democrats and Republicans present, with one GOP lawmaker absent. With two House seats currently vacant, this means that a candidate, such as Jim Jordan, must secure at least 217 votes to win.

    Who is supporting and opposing Jim Jordan’s bid for speaker?

    Jim Jordan, known for his alignment with the hardline right-wing base of the Republican Party, faces opposition from some members who doubt his ability to lead effectively as speaker. Concerns have been raised about his capacity to handle foreign policy, interact with heads of state, manage domestic policy, and address security issues.

    Additionally, Rep. Steve Scalise initially won his colleagues’ nomination for speaker but encountered resistance from some Republicans. Jordan, who came in second, endorsed Scalise but faced challenges in garnering support. Those members who initially supported Scalise but now back Jordan have been actively lobbying critics to change their stance, highlighting the influence of the party’s grassroots base in the vote. Some Republicans opposing Jordan come from swing districts and are preparing for tough reelection campaigns next year.

    More about Speaker Election Process

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    5 comments

    CryptoEagle123 October 18, 2023 - 6:04 am

    So, like, Jordan’s into crypto too? That’s cool, but maybe not everyone thinks he’s the right speaker, ya feel me? Some peeps think he ain’t got the chops for it.

    Reply
    EconMaven October 18, 2023 - 9:45 am

    Scalise, Jordan, Jeffries, it’s like a drama series in the House, huh? One minute you’re up, the next you’re down. And Jordan’s got his work cut out, gotta win those votes. Economics and politics, they mix like oil and water sometimes!

    Reply
    AutoBizPro October 18, 2023 - 9:51 pm

    Ain’t it somethin’, how the speaker election works in the House? It’s like a rollercoaster, up and down, rounds of voting, and stuff. But Jordan’s gotta rally those votes if he wants the gavel.

    Reply
    PoliticalGeek55 October 19, 2023 - 2:00 am

    The House speaker gig, it’s a big deal, right? But seems like folks ain’t sure if Jordan’s up for it. I mean, there’s doubts about his foreign policy stuff and all. Politics, it’s a wild ride!

    Reply
    JournalistGuy88 October 19, 2023 - 3:11 am

    Wow, Rep. Jim Jordan, tough break with them votes against him, ya know? The whole speaker election thing is kinda messy, ain’t it? But he needs 217 votes, that’s a lotta votes!

    Reply

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