In the initial round of voting on Tuesday, conservative lawmaker Jim Jordan’s bid for Speaker of the House of Representatives was rejected by US lawmakers, further solidifying the ongoing political deadlock that has gripped Washington for the past two weeks.
Since the ousting of Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy by his own party on October 3, the lower chamber of Congress has been unable to make progress on critical issues such as preventing a government shutdown or addressing the situation in the Middle East.
Jim Jordan, who enjoys the support of former President Donald Trump, faced defeat as 20 Republicans, along with every Democrat, united to deny him the Speaker’s gavel. Despite his earlier confidence in securing a majority, Jordan announced his intention to return for a second attempt, though a specific timetable was not provided.
Jordan garnered 200 votes in this initial round, three fewer than what McCarthy received in his first of 15 attempts to win the speakership in January, and 10 less than the vote that led to McCarthy’s removal.
Scott Perry, the head of the House Freedom Caucus, a hard-right group Jordan helped establish, expressed optimism about Jordan’s chances, likening him to an NCAA champion wrestler with the ability to persevere through numerous rounds.
Given the narrow Republican majority in the House, Jordan can afford to lose at most four colleagues in each voting round. Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries is expected to receive the full backing of the Democratic Party in each vote.
While some Republicans are concerned about what they perceive as Jordan’s confrontational approach to politics, a few have expressed unease regarding the aggressive tactics employed by his supporters.