Jim Jordan changes mind, will call for third House speaker vote

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Republican nominee for speaker of the House speaks to the media after a private meeting of House Republicans on Thursday. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
1 of 10 | Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Republican nominee for speaker of the House speaks to the media after a private meeting of House Republicans on Thursday. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Rep. Jim Jordan decided Thursday to bring his bid for House speaker to a third floor vote, after earlier saying he wouldn't.

A third vote was originally expected when the U.S. House of Representatives assembled at noon EDT Thursday, but the meeting quickly recessed. Republicans then held private meeting for about three hours to discuss the next course of action. After the meeting, Jordan said he is still running for speaker.


"I'm still running for speaker, and I plan to go to the floor and get the votes and win this race," Jordan, R-Ohio, told CNN. "But I want to go talk with a few of my colleagues, particularly want to talk with the 20 individuals who voted against me, so that we can move forward and begin to work for the American people."


It was unclear when the next vote would take place.

Jordan needs 217 votes to be elected speaker. He has lost 20, then 22 Republican votes through two rounds of voting this week. The vote total for Jordan on Wednesday was a record low 199 votes for a majority nominee. Democrats have unanimously voted for their nominee, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York.

Some Republicans floated the idea of elevating the authority of Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., who is serving as speaker pro tempore, so the House can resume debating resolutions to fund the government beyond Nov. 17.

Jordan also warmed to the proposal, but the party remains divided and the idea did not gain enough support to move forward.

As the speaker designee of the majority party, Jordan reserves the right to call for another vote.

The House went through 15 rounds of voting in January when it elected Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as speaker. The House has been without a speaker for more than two weeks since McCarthy was ousted. Eight Republicans, led by a motion from Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., voted to remove him.

Thursday's meeting of House Republicans was contentious, according to some members. Speaking with reporters afterward, McCarthy addressed a shouting match with Gaetz and a third member.


"I was at the mic. I was speaking and Matt Gaetz tried to interrupt ," McCarthy said. "I told him to sit down and he sat down. I think the entire conference screamed at him. The whole country I think would scream at Matt Gaetz right now."

"How do you have 4% of your conference remove a speaker when 96% are there," he said. "This is why we're here. He had no plan afterwards."

The House passed a new rule in January that allows any one member to bring a motion to vacate the speakership to the floor. It was used by Gaetz to ultimately remove McCarthy.

Several Republicans who voted against Jordan have reported being pressured by his supporters. Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., said pressure from Jordan has "cemented" his opposition.

"His tactics certainly didn't work on me," Gimenez said. "Actually, I became more cemented in my position. He should have left me to my own devices. Now by being threatened, by being pushed -- I'm Hispanic. I'm a Cuban. You just don't do that to us."


Democrats have remained unified throughout the process, voting unanimously to remove McCarthy and to support Jeffries as speaker.

Several Democrats have chided Jordan while making their oral votes, calling him an "insurrectionist." Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., has said he will not vote for Jordan because he has refused to acknowledge that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election fairly, defeating Jordan ally Donald Trump.

Jeffries on Wednesday said Democrats would continue to oppose Jordan if more votes were called.

"The Republicans have to end this saga, as opposed to us having another futile effort to elevate and insurrectionists to lead the House of Representatives," Jeffries told CNN.

Latest Headlines