WASHINGTON, Oct 20 – Hardline conservative Republican Jim Jordan’s hopes of becoming speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives were dashed today as his fellow Republicans withdrew their backing following a third unsuccessful vote on the House floor, according to lawmakers.
The secret-ballot vote means that the House will be left leaderless, unable to address President Joe Biden’s urgent requests for aid to Ukraine and Israel until next week at the earliest.
Opposition to Jordan’s candidacy has grown within his own party over the past week, with 25 Republican lawmakers voting against him in the third round of balloting on Friday, exceeding the 22 who had opposed him in the second round. Jordan fell well short of the 214 votes needed to claim the speaker’s gavel.
Republicans subsequently voted to revoke Jordan’s nomination during a closed-door meeting.
As a result, the House will enter its fourth week without a leader, unable to take action on Biden’s newly unveiled $106 billion national security package, which seeks to strengthen U.S. border security and provide financial support to Israel and Ukraine.
“Jim is a good man. But you know, when the votes aren’t there, the votes aren’t there,” said Republican Representative Greg Murphy, a former Jordan supporter.
Jordan, a significant ally of former President Donald Trump, played a prominent role in Trump’s efforts to challenge the outcome of the 2020 election, according to a congressional investigation.
The Republican majority in the House has been unable to rally around Jordan or any alternative candidate to replace ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy, resulting in a lack of consensus on taking up crucial legislation.
Republicans currently hold a narrow 221-212 majority in the chamber, but the absence of some members during Friday’s voting further complicated the situation.
Jordan’s vote count falls short of McCarthy’s performance in 15 rounds of voting in January.
Q: What does it mean for the House to be leaderless?
A: The House lacks a Speaker who serves as the leader and spokesperson for the chamber, creating challenges in addressing legislative matters and effectively responding to President Biden’s requests.
Q: Why did Republicans revoke Jim Jordan’s nomination?
A: Jordan’s support waned after three unsuccessful votes and increasing opposition within his party, prompting Republicans to withdraw their backing.
Q: What is the status of President Biden’s aid package?
A: The House’s leadership vacuum hampers its ability to act on President Biden’s $106 billion national security package, delaying crucial funding for Ukraine, Israel, and border security.
Q: Will there be an alternative candidate to replace Jordan?
A: The Republican majority has struggled to unite behind any candidate, leaving uncertainty regarding potential alternatives if Jordan drops out.
Q: How does Jordan’s vote total compare to McCarthy’s?
A: Jordan received fewer votes than McCarthy’s tally of 15 rounds of voting in January, exacerbating the difficulty in reaching a consensus within the party.