Jim Jordan loses third vote for House speaker as more Republicans abandon him
(CNN) — Republican Rep. Jim Jordan failed Friday for the third time to win the speaker’s gavel, faring worse in the latest round of voting than he had in two previous failed votes.
The loss comes as the Ohio Republican faces growing pressure from within his own party to drop out of the race and the House remains in a state of paralysis.
In Friday’s vote, 25 House Republicans voted against Jordan — a higher number than in the two prior votes in a sign that opposition to his bid is growing. In the first round of voting, 20 House Republicans voted for someone else. In the second round, that number rose to 22.
But, despite facing steep opposition and no clear path to the gavel, Jordan has so far defiantly vowed to remain in the race and made clear ahead of Friday’s vote that he has no plans to abandon his bid.
“We need to get to work for the American people. We need to do what we said we were going to do, we need to do what we told them we were going to do when they elected us and put us in office, and frankly, we can’t do that if the House isn’t open. We can’t open the House until we get a speaker,” Jordan said.
“The quickest way to get all this working is to get a speaker elected. That’s what I hope we can do today,” he added.
Jordan lost two votes earlier this week for speakership, with more Republicans opposing him in the second vote than the first. When pressed by CNN’s Lauren Fox on Friday for specifics about how many rounds he plans to go, Jordan said, “The plan this weekend is to get a speaker elected to the House of Representatives as soon as possible.”
Ousted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who has been advising Jordan, is expected to give the floor speech nominating him, a source told CNN.
In an effort to inject some life back into his flailing bid, three sources told CNN he had made some progress with a small bloc of holdouts: New York Republicans. Unlike the other holdouts, the New Yorkers have specific asks and priorities that are pertinent to their districts, such as the state and local tax deduction.
But others are opposed to Jordan based on principle and are dug in as threats against them continue – a sign of the uphill climb he is still facing. Jordan met with holdouts on Thursday only for several to emerge from the meeting saying their minds had not been changed.
Some Republicans who oppose Jordan have decried what they described as a pressure campaign against them by allies of the Ohio Republican. And several Republicans who opposed Jordan’s speakership bid have said they experienced angry calls, menacing messages and even death threats since casting their votes. Jordan has condemned the threats.
A closed-door House GOP conference meeting on Thursday turned heated, multiple sources told CNN. Some members encouraged Jordan to drop out of the race. There was also an emotional discussion over the threats some Jordan holdouts are facing. Later, members leaving the meeting described it as an airing of grievances with tensions running high.
The House remains effectively frozen as long as there is no elected speaker – a perilous situation as Congress faces an impending government funding deadline and the threat of a shutdown.
The speaker vacuum triggered by the historic ouster of McCarthy led by a bloc of hardline conservatives also comes as Israel is at war with Hamas and Ukraine fights a war against Russian aggression.
The battle for the speakership has now dragged on for more than two weeks with no end in sight.
Some Republicans looking for a way to break the impasse have suggested expanding the powers of interim Speaker Rep. Patrick McHenry – a controversial move that would put the House even further into uncharted territory. But there is widespread opposition within the Republican conference to the idea.