Politics

Jordan fails on first ballot of GOP speaker race

Jim Jordan won’t be speaker of the House — yet.

The Ohio Republican failed to get the 217 votes he needed to clinch the gavel during Tuesday’s first ballot, with 20 GOP votes against him. The House recessed immediately after the vote concluded, and it’s unclear when a second ballot will occur.

Some lawmakers aren’t optimistic it will happen anytime soon, with Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) saying confidently to reporters as he exited the floor: “Have a good evening everyone.”

The pause will allow Jordan to meet with some of the 20 Republican holdouts to try and bring them into his camp before voting again. Recessing before continuing on to a second ballot will allow sorely divided Republicans to regroup in private away from the House floor and potentially consider their strategy. Many Jordan allies had predicted it could take multiple ballots, but it’s unclear if they’ll be able to flip enough holdouts in subsequent votes.

And it’s possible that Jordan could lose rather than gain support. Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio), who eventually voted for Jordan on the first ballot, didn’t commit to backing him on a second one: “I need to have some discussion with him, because the tactics that were used against some members were something he and I had discussions about all weekend.”

“I have no intention of moving. I have been transparent from the start,” said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), who opposed Jordan on the floor.

The Republicans who bucked Jordan are largely in three categories: those in vulnerable districts, defense hawks with concerns about military spending and appropriators wary of Jordan’s history of voting against spending bills. Seven voted for Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), who had dropped his big for the gavel, six voted for former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and various others voted for Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) and Reps. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.), Tom Cole (R-Okla.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and former Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.).

But the biggest common theme among the detractors is a deep distrust for the Freedom Caucus-aligned wing of the GOP, which has wreaked havoc on their conference since January. Most Republicans backed Jordan, but he can only afford to lose four votes from his own party given unified Democratic opposition.

Jordan’s defeat risks throwing the House back into a prolonged floor fight much like McCarthy faced in January, when it took the former speaker 15 rounds of voting to secure the majority of the full chamber that’s needed to win the gavel.

Anthony Adragna and Daniella Diaz contributed to this report.

Jim Jordan won’t be speaker of the House — yet.
The Ohio Republican failed to get the 217 votes he needed to clinch the gavel during Tuesday’s first ballot, with 20 GOP votes against him. The House recessed immediately after the vote concluded, and it’s unclear when a second ballot will occur.
Some lawmakers aren’t optimistic it will happen anytime soon, with Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) saying confidently to reporters as he exited the floor: “Have a good evening everyone.”
The pause will allow Jordan to meet with some of the 20 Republican holdouts to try and bring them into his camp before voting again. Recessing before continuing on to a second ballot will allow sorely divided Republicans to regroup in private away from the House floor and potentially consider their strategy. Many Jordan allies had predicted it could take multiple ballots, but it’s unclear if they’ll be able to flip enough holdouts in subsequent votes.
And it’s possible that Jordan could lose rather than gain support. Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio), who eventually voted for Jordan on the first ballot, didn’t commit to backing him on a second one: “I need to have some discussion with him, because the tactics that were used against some members were something he and I had discussions about all weekend.”
“I have no intention of moving. I have been transparent from the start,” said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), who opposed Jordan on the floor.
The Republicans who bucked Jordan are largely in three categories: those in vulnerable districts, defense hawks with concerns about military spending and appropriators wary of Jordan’s history of voting against spending bills. Seven voted for Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), who had dropped his big for the gavel, six voted for former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and various others voted for Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) and Reps. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.), Tom Cole (R-Okla.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and former Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.).
But the biggest common theme among the detractors is a deep distrust for the Freedom Caucus-aligned wing of the GOP, which has wreaked havoc on their conference since January. Most Republicans backed Jordan, but he can only afford to lose four votes from his own party given unified Democratic opposition.
Jordan’s defeat risks throwing the House back into a prolonged floor fight much like McCarthy faced in January, when it took the former speaker 15 rounds of voting to secure the majority of the full chamber that’s needed to win the gavel.
Anthony Adragna and Daniella Diaz contributed to this report.  

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