Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio was hoping that the bright television lights and cameras in the House of Representatives would swing enough votes his direction to become speaker of the House in a second vote on Wednesday. But despite a last-minute push by several allies of former President Donald Trump, the far-right Jordan failed to win over the majority of his caucus, with even more colleagues dissenting the second time around.
The magic number conservatives were looking for was 217, and despite another night of attempts to sway lawmakers, the far-right Jordan failed to win a majority with 22 Republicans voting against him. All Democrats voted for their nominee, New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.
Nonetheless, Jordan says he plans to continue to push for their support and try again to win the gavel.
"We're going to keep going," he said. "We've had great conversations, great discussions with our colleagues and frankly, no one in our conference wants to see any type of coalition government with Democrats. So, we're going to keep working and we're going to get to the votes. We've got to have a speaker and it can't be some deal with the Democrats."
But as both votes have shown, there seems to be growing concerns from Republicans about continuing to back Jordan. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa, who backed Jordan on the first ballot, told Scripps News that she is declining further support unless he makes major changes, like pushing for a unity candidate — something Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York wants Republicans to take him up on.
"The situation in the House of Representatives right now is unreal, unbelievable, and unacceptable," Jeffries said. "Paging my traditional Republican colleagues: It's time to get off the sidelines, break away from extremists, get in the arena, so we can find a bipartisan path forward."
All Democrats voted for Jeffries in both votes for speaker of the House, though it is extremely unlikely he will ever gain any votes from Republicans in the GOP-controlled chamber. For now, it appears voting could go on for several more rounds like it did in January when it took McCarthy 15 ballots to eventually be elected speaker.
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