House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) suffered another loss in the Speakership race Wednesday, failing to win the gavel on a second ballot of voting after a growing number of Republicans declined to support his bid.
Twenty-two Republicans withheld support from Jordan.
The vote was 199 for Jordan, 212 for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), five for former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and seven for House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.). Ten people voted for someone else.
The GOP opposition was less than what some Republicans — including Jordan allies — had predicted, but the tally is nonetheless a setback for Jordan.
Twenty Republicans withheld support from Jordan on Tuesday, leaving him short of the majority vote needed to clinch the gavel on the House floor.
On Wednesday, four more Republicans flipped their votes from Jordan to another candidate. Two opponents flipped their votes to Jordan, and one Republican who was absent Tuesday voted for Jordan on Wednesday.
Jordan, after the vote, insisted he was still in good shape and would talk to the holdouts.
“I think we’re at, we got 200 votes. You know, we picked up some today, a couple dropped off, but they voted for me before. I think they come back again. So we’ll keep talking to members. Keep working on it,” he said.
Some of his opponents, though, said additional votes wouldn’t yield anything.
Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), a moderate who voted for McCarthy, said Jordan would “probably lose another 10 votes” on a third ballot.
Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.) said things “may actually get worse in the next round.”
The loss will likely fuel GOP calls to empower Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) as the Republican conference remains divided over who should wield the gavel with the House still at a standstill.
That push intensified after the vote.
Bacon and Gimenez both said they would vote for a resolution to empower McHenry.
“It’s very clear to me that the most logical solution at this point is to empower the Speaker pro temp so that we get back to work,” Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-N.Y.), who supported Jordan, said after the vote.
Jordan and his supporters tried to manage expectations ahead of Wednesday’s vote, telling reporters and writing on social media that the Ohio Republican was likely to lose GOP votes on the second ballot.
“I know we’re gaining. We’ve got one member who switched, we got another member coming back. We may have some who, you know, switch the other direction, but we’ll see,” Jordan told reporters when asked if he will lose votes from Republicans in the second round of voting.
“Just so there’s no surprises: Jordan will likely have FEWER votes today than yesterday — as I expected. This is the fight – which Jim Jordan represents – to end the status quo, and it ain’t easy…Stay strong and keep praying,” Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) had predicted that 28 Republicans would withhold support from Jordan on the second ballot.
Jordan, nonetheless, remained confident in his chances of clinching the gavel, telling reporters ahead of the vote that he would still have a path to the Speakership even if he were to bleed support on the second ballot.
“I think so. I do,” he said when asked if he will still have a path to winning. “We’re continuing to talk with colleagues, more importantly listen to colleagues, so, and we’re gonna continue to do that.”
Jordan, the founding chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, secured the GOP nomination for Speaker last week, besting Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) in a 124-81 vote. In a second vote that asked members if they would support Jordan on the floor, the final tally was 152-55.
Jordan’s nomination, however, only came after Scalise, who initially won the GOP nomination, withdrew from the race. Scalise beat Jordan in a 113-99 internal vote, but a number of Jordan supporters said they would not back the majority leader — enough to deny him the gavel. Jordan then threw his hat back into the ring.
Jordan made progress in decreasing his opposition over the weekend, which was clear when four key holdouts announced Monday that they would flip their stance to support the Ohio Republican. The quartet expressed opposition to Jordan last week.
That momentum, however, was not enough to put Jordan over the finish line. Some Republicans are still angry about McCarthy’s stunning ouster, and others are frustrated with how Scalise was treated as the GOP nominee.
Updated at 2:08 p.m.
Emily Brooks contributed.