Farcical scenes in Congress continued on Wednesday as Jim Jordan lost the second ballot for speaker on the House floor in an even bigger defeat that could spell the end of his bid for the Republican’s top job.
Twenty-two of his disgruntled GOP colleagues – two more than on Tuesday – voted against the top conservative to hand him an even bigger defeat in another free-for-all on the House floor.
Members instead voted for a range of other candidates including Kevin McCarthy and ex-Speaker John Boehner – who resigned in 2015 – in another display of the chaos that has engulfed the party for 15 days.
It shows the disarray among House Republicans has no end in sight two weeks after McCarthy became the first speaker in history to be ousted.
Since then, the House has been paralyzed and unable to do business with less than a month until the government shuts down again.
Now, there questions of what the conference can do next to avoid the shambolic scenario from January, where it took 15 ballots to elect McCarthy.
With the GOP’s narrow majority, Jordan could only afford to lose four votes on the floor with the GOP’s razor-thin majority.
A handful of disgruntled Republicans immediately voted against Jordan on Wednesday
On Tuesday, 20 Republicans voted against Jordan, destroying his chance to become speaker in the first round of voting. He met the same fate on Wednesday in the second round of voting
Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry might be the clearest path toward getting a more long-term speaker solution
‘People keep making it about these personal issues they have with other members and I think that’s a reason why we need term limits in Congress,’ a frustrated Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., a staunch Jordan supporter, told DailyMail.com after the vote.
Meanwhile those who have opposed Jordan have reportedly been getting threats from local conservative leaders claiming they would be out of a job if they did not vote for the Ohio firebrand.
For moderates, it could be a choice between voting against Jordan and risking a right-wing primary challenge and voting for Jordan and angering independent-minded voters.
‘He’s got the American people behind him,’ Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., said of Jordan, predicting he would become speaker eventually.
‘Every one of these guys, they’re getting a lot of phone calls, and they should,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘He’s an American hero.’
Republican Rep. Dave Joyce, Ohio, is expected to nominate interim Speaker Patrick McHenry for the top job on a short-term basis following Jordan’s defeat. Support for that move is divided among Republicans, meaning it would require buy-in from Democrats.
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, said doing so would be ‘contrary to the Constitution’ and ‘would do enormous damage to the House.’
On Tuesday, 20 Republicans voted against Jordan, destroying his chance to become speaker in the first ballot. He lost two more GOP votes in the second round.
Jordan, chair of the powerful Judiciary Committee and Freedom Caucus co-founder, had broad appeal from the right wing of his party but moderates and pragmatic conservatives were angry about the process by which he had come to the speaker nomination.
The wife of Republican holdout Don Bacon – the first to vote against Jordan on Tuesday – revealed anonymous text messages warning her husband to back Jordan.
‘Your husband better support Jim Jordan,’ reads one of the messages sent to Angie Bacon, according to Politico.
‘Your husband will not hold any political office ever again,’ said another. ‘What a disappoint [sic] and failure he is.’
Bacon voted for McCarthy, R-Calif., on Wednesday – landing another blow to Jordan’s vote tally.
In a moment of lightheartedness, Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., voted for former Speaker John Boehner, best known for his affinity for smoking cigars and his brash style. Democrats on the floor clapped and laughed at Kelly’s vote, signaling the level of dysfunction engulfing the chamber.
Jordan started to hemorrhage votes from lawmakers who supported him in the first ballot.
Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Mich., put forward Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., – in a flip from his Jordan vote on Tuesday. Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-Ga., also flipped from his original vote for Jordan, voting for Steve Scalise in the second round.
Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Pete Stauber voted for Jordan yesterday, but not Wednesday.
He only gained former ‘no’ votes by Reps. Victoria Spartz and Doug LaMalfa.
Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., – who vowed to never vote for Jordan – voted again for Tom Emmer, R-Minn., on the second ballot.
Jordan was also slammed for using ‘intimidation tactics’ over the weekend to try and get GOP holdouts to support his bid for speaker. His office has disputed those claims.
Second speaker vote tally
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y. — 212
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio — 199
Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La. — 7
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. — 5
Others — 10
First speaker vote tally
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y. — 212
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio — 200
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. — 6
Former Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y. — 3
Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La. — 7
Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif. — 1
Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn. — 1
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla. — 1
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky. — 1
He spent the weekend pressuring holdouts to vote for him – with the unspoken threat that not doing so could put them at risk of a primary challenge given Jordan’s popularity with grassroots conservatives.
‘I think some of it did backfire … and I think it was to the detriment of Jim,’ said Florida Congressman Byron Donalds, who voted for Jordan.
‘Jim didn’t necessarily support the strategy,’ added fellow Ohio Representative David Joyce.
Former President Donald Trump endorsed Jordan for the top Republican position, and reiterated his support in a post to Truth Social Tuesday.
‘Jim Jordan will be a GREAT Speaker of the House. As everyone knows, I have long ago given him my Complete and Total Endorsement!’
Meanwhile, Democrats remain united around Hakeem Jeffries – who serves as minority leader.
Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., poked fun at yesterday’s vote tally – during which Jeffries received more votes than Jordan.
‘212 to 200. No amount of election denial is going to take away from those vote totals,’ he said on the floor Wednesday.
Chants of ‘Hakeem, Hakeem, Hakeem’ rang out from around the chamber.
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., nominated Jordan Wednesday ahead of the second vote. He made multiple references to Jordan’s former wrestling career.
He praised his commitment to conservative principles and strong support for Israel, which is reeling after over 1,300 were killed nearly two weeks ago by Hamas terrorists.
Two weeks ago Kevin McCarthy was ousted when eight Republicans voted with all Democrats to push him out of the job in an unprecedented vote. Then Majority Leader Steve Scalise, the House’s number two Republican, beat out Jordan for the nomination in a 124-88 vote.
Scalise, who is in the midst of battling blood cancer, dropped out of the running as it became clear that around a dozen Republicans were not going to vote for him.
Jordan then clinched the GOP nomination on Friday in a 124 to 81 vote.
But in a follow-up vote, members were asked ‘Would you vote for Jordan on the House floor?’ Fifty-five of them said they would not – even as Republicans can only afford to lose four votes on the floor.
McHenry, 47, chair of the Financial Services Committee, the current interim speaker, would need Democratic votes to be elected as temporary speaker.
Electing McHenry would give him powers to bring legislation to the floor and break the impasse in the House as Congress barrels toward another potential shutdown.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., opposed the bid of Rep. Jim Jordan, for speaker on Tuesday
On Tuesday, 20 Republicans voted against Jordan, destroying his chance to become speaker in the first ballot
In the meantime, Congress remains paralyzed, unable to conduct any business and with only a month until the government runs out of money again.
The House is also unable to vote to provide desperately needed assistance to Israel after the brutal Hamas terror attack left over 1,300 civilians dead and at least 29 Americans killed.
President Biden is mulling a $100 billion request to Congress that will include aid to both Ukraine and Israel.
He is expected to send over the request by the end of the week and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says the Senate will act quickly, despite turmoil in the House.