Accessibility links

Breaking News

House Again Fails to Elect a Speaker


Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio leaves a Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Oct. 19, 2023.
Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio leaves a Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Oct. 19, 2023.

The third time was not a charm for Ohio Republican Jim Jordan, who was hoping to become the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Twenty-five Republicans voted Friday morning against the arch-conservative congressman, while all Democrats cast voice votes for their party's leader in the chamber, Hakeem Jeffries of New York — meaning no candidate reached the threshold of 217 votes needed to be elected speaker.

Three more Republicans voted against Jordan in the third round than in the second.

The next floor vote for speaker is expected to occur no sooner than Tuesday, but Jordan will no longer be in the running.

Within hours after he'd lost for the third consecutive time, Republicans voted in secret on whether Jordan should be allowed to continue his quest. He lost that vote, 86-112, with five lawmakers voting present.

House Republicans now plan to hold a forum on Monday for a fresh group of speaker candidates. Representative Kevin Hern of Oklahoma said he would be among them.

"I think our delegation needs to have somebody who wants to work to unite them, brings a different perspective, and that will be what I bring," Hern told reporters.

Several other Republicans are in the running, including a likely front-runner, Tom Emmer of Minnesota, who is the House majority whip. He has been endorsed by the last House speaker, California’s Kevin McCarthy.

Representative Byron Donalds of Florida is also a candidate, according to his office.

Republicans who intend to have their names put forward have until Sunday to declare.

The House, the lower body of the U.S. Congress, has been paralyzed for more than two weeks since eight Republicans joined with Democrats in a historic vote to remove McCarthy as speaker. The upper body, the U.S. Senate, has been working as usual.

U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday was dispatching to Congress a $106 billion foreign aid request, primarily composed of money to aid Israel and Ukraine in their wars against Hamas and Russia, respectively.

Until the House elects a speaker, the body will not be able to vote on any spending bills. The House faces a November 17 deadline when funding for the entire federal government runs out. If no new funding measure is approved, millions of members of the U.S. military and federal workers will not be paid.

Jordan was a favorite of the Republicans closely allied with former President Donald Trump, who is the party's leading candidate in next year's race for the presidency. Other Republicans rebelled against Jordan's strong-arm tactics to get elected speaker. Many also said he was not suited to lead because during his 16 years in Congress he has never sponsored a bill that became law.

"Jim Jordan is an effective legislator," McCarthy said in his third-round nomination speech in support of his fellow Republican. That remark prompted laughter and jeering from the Democrats. In this Congress, not a single member of their caucus has voted for anyone other than Jeffries in the numerous rounds to elect a speaker.

Before the third round, Republican Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida told reporters Jordan was not going to gather enough votes to be victorious, no matter how many rounds of voting members had to endure.

"There is a time when you have to put country above ego and self," he said. "It gets to a point where this now becomes just an egofest."

Jeffries, at a news conference Friday afternoon, said "it's time for traditional Republicans to get off the sidelines, get in the arena and realize that the chaos, dysfunction and extremism has to end. And the only way to do it is to figure out how we can partner in a bipartisan fashion to reopen the House and govern in a reasonable, common-sense way."