House GOP to Regroup on Monday to Find Another Speaker Nominee

Jackson Richman
By Jackson Richman
October 20, 2023Congress

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) will try on Oct. 20 for the third time to become House speaker.

However, it appears the necessary votes are still not there.

The House Judiciary chair lost 20 Republican votes in the first ballot on Tuesday and 22 in the second ballot on Wednesday.

A plan to empower Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) as speaker pro tempore has largely been scrapped by Republicans for now. Mr. McHenry is serving as an appointed speaker pro tempore and therefore can only oversee the election of a speaker. Being an elected speaker pro tempore would give Mr. McHenry pretty much the same powers as an elected speaker.

The chamber is now in its 17th day without a speaker.

Follow below for live updates. All times below are Eastern.

What’s Next—2:16 p.m.

The House GOP will go home for the weekend and return to Washington on Oct. 23 for a candidate forum. Candidates must submit their name by the previous day.

An internal election for speaker nominee will then take place at 9 a.m. on Oct. 24. This would be the House Republican’s third election in three weeks since the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

House GOP Set to Meet Again on Monday–2:08 p.m.

The House GOP will have a candidate forum on Oct. 23, according to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who said that Oct. 22 is the deadline for GOP candidates to throw their hat in the ring.

Jordan No Longer Speaker-Designee—2:05 p.m.

The House GOP voted via secret ballot to make Mr. Jordan no longer the speaker designee. The final tally was 112-86 in favor of dumping Mr. Jordan.

House GOP Taking Ballot to See if Jordan Should Remain Nominee–1:54 p.m.

House Republicans are meeting behind closed doors where they are taking a secret ballot over whether Mr. Jordan should remain the speaker-designee.

Anti-Jordan Congressman Thinks Other Candidates Can Get the Votes–1:17 p.m.

Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), a staunch opponent of Mr. Jordan for speaker, believes there are other viable candidates who can reach the 217 votes needed to win the gavel.

“We have a lot of capable folks that don’t have a lot of baggage like we have in this current race,” Mr. Bacon told reporters before the GOP conference, naming Reps. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), Mark Green (R-Fla.), Mike Johnson (R-La.), and Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) as suitable choices, noting that Mr. McHenry doesn’t want the gig.

GOPers Who Ousted McCarthy Open to Punishment—12:56 p.m.

The eight Republicans who voted with Democrats to remove former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced they were willing to receive punishment for their role if it meant their colleagues would back Mr. Jordan for speaker.

“We’re eager to better understand how those who are unwilling to vote for Jim Jordan would react to our willingness to accept some consequence,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who introduced the motion to oust Mr. McCarthy, told reporters after the third vote.

“If what people need to see is the eight of us rapped on the knuckles in order to get onto the business of governing, what we’re saying is we’re open-minded to that.”

House Republicans to Meet at 1 p.m.—12:54 p.m.

House GOP will conference at 1 p.m. after Mr. Jordan’s third failed speaker vote earlier today.

Jordan Loses Speaker Bid Again–11:52 a.m.

Mr. Jordan lost 25 Republicans on the third ballot, three more than on the second ballot. He could only afford to lose five Republicans given the GOP and Democrat absences.

Mr. Jordan got 194 votes, while House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) got all 210 members, all Democrats.

The three new defections were Reps. Thomas Kean Jr. (R-N.J.), Marc Molinaro (R-N.Y.), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.)

In addition to those three, the Republicans who voted against Mr. Jordan were: Reps. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-Ore.), Andrew Garbarino (R-N.Y.), Anthony D’Esposito (R-N.Y.), Tony Gonzales (R-Texas), Kay Granger (R-Texas), Jake Ellzey (R-Texas), Mario Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Carlos Giménez (R-Fla.), Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), Nick LaLota (R-N.Y.), Jen Kiggans (R-Va.), John Rutherford (R-Fla.), Ken Buck (R-Co.), John James (R-Mich.), Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Steve Womack (R-Ark.), Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), and Pete Stauber (R-Minn.).

The GOP opponents variously voted for Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Steve Scalise (R-La.), Mike Garcia (R-Calif.), Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), and Lee Zeldin, a former New York congressman.

Jordan on Way to Losing 3rd Ballot–11:15 a.m.

At least seven Republicans have voted against Mr. Jordan, who could only afford to lose five votes: Reps. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-Ore.), Anthony D’Esposito (R-N.Y.), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), and Jake Ellzey (R-Texas).

Voting Begins–11:09 a.m.

The House is now voting on the third ballot for speaker. Mr. Jordan can only afford to lose five Republicans given the GOP and Democrat absences.

Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) was the first GOP defection, voting for Mr. McHenry.

Clark Nominates Jeffries for Speaker–11:01 a.m.

House Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) nominated House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). All 212 Democrats have voted for Mr. Jeffries on the past two ballots and are expected to do so on the third one.

McCarthy Nominates Jordan for Speaker–10:52 a.m.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who previously served as speaker until he was ousted on Oct. 3, nominated Mr. Jordan to be speaker and called him an “effective legislator.” Democrats snickered and interrupted Mr. McCarthy until order was restored.

Mr. McCarthy praised Mr. Jordan’s leadership as chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

“Jim Jordan is an effective legislator. To legislate is about more than the name of the bill. It’s about reaching compromise and working long hours behind the scenes to get the job done.”

“Jim is the right person to take that seat behind me as speaker of the House,” the former speaker said.

“Trust me, being Speaker is not an easy job, especially in this conference,” he added. “But I’ve seen Jim spend his entire career fighting for freedom no matter what, no matter the odds. And I know he’s ready for the job.”

Quorum Established–10:52 a.m.

There are 427 members present — 219 Republicans and 208 Democrats. One member, Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-Wisc.) is in Israel on a fact-finding mission amid the Jewish state coming under attack by the terrorist group Hamas.

Mr. Jordan can only afford to lose five votes.

House Gavels In–10:15 a.m.

The House has gaveled in. Holding a quorum call.

Jordan Not Backing Down–9:23 a.m.

Mr. Jordan held an 8 a.m. press conference where he expressed defiance.

“We need to get to work for the American people,” he told reporters. “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. And we can’t we can’t open the house until we get a speaker.”

“Our plan this weekend is to get a Speaker elected to the House of Representatives as soon as possible so we can help the American people,” Mr. Jordan said.

Ryusuke Abe and Lawrence Wilson contributed to this report.

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