US: Republican Jim Jordan loses third House Speaker vote
In all, Jordan lost 25 Republican colleagues, leaving him far from the majority needed
Rep. Jim Jordan failed badly on Friday on a third ballot for the House speaker's gavel, rejected by even more Republicans from the conservative mainstream who warned the hard-edged ally of Donald Trump that no threats or promises could win their support.
The Republicans have no realistic or workable plan to unite the fractured GOP majority, elect a new speaker and return to the work of Congress that has been languishing since hard-liners ousted Kevin McCarthy at the start of the month.
In all, Jordan lost 25 Republican colleagues, leaving him far from the majority needed.
Ahead of the vote, Jordan showed no signs of stepping aside, insisting at a Capitol press conference: “The American people are hungry for change."
Drawing on his Ohio roots, Jordan, who is popular with the GOP's right-flank activist base of voters, positioned his long-shot campaign alongside the history of American innovators including the Wright brothers, urging his colleagues to elect him to the speakership.
McCarthy himself rose in the chamber to nominate Jordan, portraying him as a skilled legislator who reaches for compromise. That drew scoffs of laughter from the Democratic side of the aisle.
McCarthy said of Jordan, He is straightforward, honest and reliable.
Democrats nominated Leader Hakeem Jeffries, with Rep. Katherine Clark calling Jordan, who refused to certify the 2020 election, a threat to democracy.
But after two failed votes, Jordan's third attempt at the gavel did not end any better in large part because more centrist Republicans are revolting over the nominee and the hardball tactics being used to win their votes.
They have been bombarded with harassing phone calls and even reported death threats.
In fact, the hard-charging Judiciary chairman lost rather than gained votes despite hours of closed-door talks, no improvement from the 20 and then 22 Republicans he lost in early rounds this week.
For more than two weeks the stalemate has shut down the U.S. House, leaving a seat of American democracy severely hobbled at a time of challenges at home and abroad.
The House Republican majority appears to have no idea how to end the political turmoil and get back to work.
With Republicans in majority control of the House, 221-212, any candidate can lose only a few detractors.
It appears there is no Republican at present who can win a clear majority, 217 votes, to become speaker.
The holdouts want nothing from Jordan, Gimenez said, adding that some of the lawmakers in the meeting simply called on Jordan to drop out of the race.
One extraordinary idea, to give the interim speaker pro tempore, Rep. Patrick McHenry, more powers for the next several months to at least bring the House back into session and conduct crucial business, was swiftly rejected by Jordan's own ultra-conservative allies.
Next steps were highly uncertain as angry, frustrated Republicans predict the House could essentially stay closed for the foreseeable future perhaps until the mid-November deadline for Congress to approve funding or risk a federal government shutdown.
We're trying to figure out if there's a way we can get back with a Republican-only solution, said veteran legislator Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.
That's what normal majorities do. What this majority has done is prove it's not a normal majority.
What was clear was that Jordan was refusing to step aside, appearing determined to wait out his foes even as his path to become House speaker was all but collapsing.
What we saw with Speaker McCarthy in the 15 rounds is that he went down first and then he came back, said Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., referring to January's historic election. "That's where we are with Jordan.
But earlier, Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., said it's not going to happen.
Many view Jordan, a founding member of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, as too extreme for a central seat of U.S. power, second in line to the presidency.