Republican lawmaker from Ohio Jim Jordan (C) speaks to reporters after House Republicans voted him out of contention to be the next Speaker of the House, in the US Capitol in Washington, DC, USA, 20 October 2023. EFE/EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

Jim Jordan is out as Republican candidate for US House speaker

Washington, Oct. 20 (EFE).- Republican lawmakers on Friday withdrew their support for Jim Jordan as their candidate to lead the US House, after he failed a third vote before the full House.

The decision, which came after Jordan received only 194 of the 215 votes needed on Friday, was made at an internal meeting of conservatives. Twenty-five of his colleagues supported challengers who had not even been nominated.

The C-SPAN network reported that during the internal vote, 112 lawmakers turned their backs on Jordan, the current chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, an ally of former President Donald Trump (2017-2021) and a representative of the most radical wing of the party. He had the support of only 86 Republicans.

At the end of the meeting, Jordan spoke of the need to support his potential successor.

The new candidates have until Sunday to put themselves forward, and the party will convene a meeting on Monday afternoon to evaluate their candidacies, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor-Greene told the press.

Already in the running is Kevin Hern, who represents Oklahoma’s 1st District.

“We just had two Speaker Designates go down. We must unify and do it fast. I’ve spoken to every Member of the Conference over the last few weeks. We need a different type of leader who has a proven record of success, which is why I’m running for Speaker of the House,” he said on X (formerly Twitter).

Election of a new speaker

The lower house has been without a speaker for more than two weeks, after the previous speaker, also a Republican, Kevin McCarthy, was removed from office following a motion against him filed by the radical Matt Gaetz of his own party, who supports Jordan.

At first, the Republican Party nominated Steve Scalise, but he withdrew on his own when he realized that he would not have enough support.

Then Jordan was chosen and went to a vote on Tuesday, but got only 200 votes on his first try and 199 a day later on his second try. He would have needed the support of 217colleagues, because 432 lawmakers were present in the chamber, compared to 429 on Friday.

On the Democratic side, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, who had the full support of his party in the first two votes, with 212 votes in his favor, got 210 this Friday due to two absences.

In the meantime, Patrick McHenry, appointed by McCarthy, is acting as Speaker pro tempore, but until there is a formal Speaker, no new resolutions or bills can be passed.

The lower house is thus blocked at a time when the budgets for the current fiscal year have yet to be approved and when the White House has just asked Congress to approve an appropriation of more than $100 billion, including $14.3 billion in aid to Israel and a new $61.4 billion package for Ukraine. EFE