U.S. House Judiciary Chair Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is out as the Republican nominee for speaker of the House after his third failed floor vote Friday. Now, Republicans are back to the drawing board in finding a speaker after more than two weeks without one.
After that third vote, in which Jordan lost because 25 Republicans voted against him, the Republican party had a conference meeting. In that meeting, Republicans reportedly held a secret ballot vote, and Jordan lost.
“The most popular Republican in Congress was just knifed in an an anonymous vote in a secret closed door meeting in the basement of the Capitol,” Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who filed the motion to oust the former speaker, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“This is the Swamp at work,” he added.
Jordan received 194 votes with 25 Republicans voting against him, according to the unofficial count Friday afternoon. The first time around he received 200 votes in his favor followed by 199 votes the second time. The House has been without a speaker for more than two weeks; 217 votes are needed to elect a new speaker.
Before the third vote Friday, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., gave the speech on the House floor to nominate Jordan with a glowing endorsement.
“Jim is the right person to take that seat behind me to be the next speaker,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy pointed to major problems to address, including the war in Israel, fentanyl, and the open southern border.
Jordan sparked pushback from his own party on Thursday after reports surfaced that he said behind closed doors he would back the speaker pro Tempore, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., for a limited temporary speakership role so the government could be funded and other key legislative goals hit.
Jordan later addressed reporters, announcing he would drop that plan and instead hold another vote.
“I’ll just say this,” Jordan told reporters Thursday. “We made the pitch to members on the resolution as a way to lower the temperature and get back to work. We decided that wasn’t where we were going to go. I’m still running for speaker, and I plan to go to the floor and get the votes and win this race.”
As The Center Square previously reported, the House faces a government shutdown deadline in the middle of November and calls to pass funding measures for the Ukraine and Israel wars.
“But I want to go talk with a few of my colleagues, particularly I want to talk with the 20 individuals who voted against me so that we can move forward and begin to work for the American people,” Jordan added.
Jordan was reportedly meeting with lawmakers to rally support over the last week.
Minority Whip Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., gave a speech from the House floor Friday morning blasting Republicans, saying they are focusing on a civil war instead of “engaging with us in the work of the American people.”