The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to reconvene Thursday and make another attempt to elect a speaker, after Republican congressman Jim Jordan, a staunch ally of former president Donald Trump, lost his second bid to claim the speaker’s gavel Wednesday.
Jordan, a nine-term lawmaker from the midwestern state of Ohio, won 199 votes in Wednesday’s vote, well short of the 217-vote majority he needs to be elected speaker.
Twenty-two of his Republican colleagues voted for other lawmakers in the contest, an increase of two from the first round of voting on Tuesday.
Jordan also trailed Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, who won the votes of all 212 Democrats, although Jeffries is highly unlikely to become speaker of the chamber, in which Republicans have a slim majority.
Jordan has not dropped his effort to become speaker and told reporters he expects another vote in the House Thursday afternoon.
Supporters of Jordan have pressured opposing lawmakers on social media to fall in line and approve the Ohio representative as speaker. One Republican congresswoman, Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa, reported receiving “credible death threats and a barrage of threatening calls” after she voted against Jordan in Wednesday’s vote.
Jordan later wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that “no American should accost another for their beliefs.”
“We condemn all threats against our colleagues and it is imperative that we come together,” he added. “Stop. It’s abhorrent.”
Since Representative Kevin McCarthy’s ouster as speaker two weeks ago, the House has been rudderless and unable to consider any legislation, such as a spending measure to avert a partial government shutdown when current funding runs out on November 17, or a straightforward, bipartisan resolution to support Israel after the U.S. ally was attacked October 7 by Hamas militants.
Some lawmakers, including Republicans and more than a few opposition Democrats, have suggested granting temporary House Speaker Patrick McHenry additional power on a short-term basis to bring key legislation to the floor for full House votes.
Some Republicans have also raised the possibility of reinstating McCarthy, although he balked at having his name placed in nomination. He voted this week for Jordan.
Jeffries called on Republicans to reject the influence of hard-right extremists in their party and work toward a bipartisan governing coalition.
“There’s only two paths: either you’re going to continue to bend the knee to the most extreme members of your conference, who are not interested in governing, or you can partner with Democrats to do the business of the American people,” Jeffries said Tuesday.
Jordan, a divisive figure on Capitol Hill who frequently fires barbs at Democrats, could become the third candidate this month to fail to unite the Republican Party, after McCarthy and Representative Steve Scalise.
Scalise withdrew his name from contention after he outpolled Jordan among the Republican caucus but realized he could not get the required 217-vote majority in a full House vote. With the party holding a very narrow majority in the full House, any Republican will need near-unanimous support from their own members to be elected speaker.