Jordan’s road to speaker reviewed as he prepares for one more fight

Jim Jordan
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, arrives for the Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Alex Brandon/AP

Jordan’s road to speaker reviewed as he prepares for one more fight

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Rep. Jim Jordan‘s (R-OH) path to become speaker of the House has faced numerous obstacles, including internal party divisions preventing him from securing a majority of the votes.

The Ohio Republican has shown a relentless pursuit of the coveted position despite setbacks and is gearing up for another battle on Friday. Here is an outline of Jordan’s road to the speakership.

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Jordan, the chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee, became the first lawmaker to announce a run for the House’s top job on Oct. 4, one day after a group of eight Republicans voted to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from his post in a historic move.

Jordan lost his first attempt to become the next speaker when Republicans nominated House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) last week in a closed-door meeting. However, the Louisiana Republican dropped out of the race one day later after a full day of meeting with his colleagues and acknowledging he was not going to win the required 217 votes on the floor.

The leader of the Judiciary Committee then stepped up, pressuring House Republicans to throw their support behind him in Scalise’s absence. Last Friday, the GOP conference voted 124-81 in a closed-door meeting to select Jordan as its next nominee for speaker, defeating his challenger, Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA).

Jordan’s momentum faltered this week after failing to secure the 217 votes needed on the full House floor on Tuesday, with 20 Republicans voting for another candidate, and all Democrats supporting Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). He fell short for a second time on Wednesday, faring even worse among his colleagues as 22 Republicans voted for an alternative candidate.

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The House did not hold a third vote on Thursday, as Jordan worked to gather support to win the gavel while centrist lawmakers pushed the idea of giving temporary explicit powers to Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-NC) so the House could conduct legislative business.

While initial talk indicated Jordan would back this plan, he announced he plans to push for a third vote Friday at noon. Jordan is slated to hold a press conference at 8 a.m. Eastern time, hours before the third vote that could either push him through to the speakership or make his position more difficult as rumors swirl that he is on a path to lose more support with each vote.

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