Jim Jordan’s Speaker Bid In Doubt As House Members Look To Alternative Plan To Empower Temporary Leader

Jim Jordan’s Speaker Bid In Doubt As House Members Look To Alternative Plan To Empower Temporary Leader

UPDATE: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) lost ground in his bid to become House speaker, as he again fell short of a majority in a roll call vote.

Twenty-two Republicans voted against him, two more than did so in Tuesday’s vote.

The latest tally was 199 votes for Jordan and 212 for House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

Jordan won over some members who voted against him on Tuesday, but he lost others. It’s unclear whether he will move to a third vote. The House went into recess after the final tally was announced.

In nominating Jordan, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) urged Republicans to end the “chaos” of the past two weeks, calling the Ohio congressman an “honorable man.”

That was a contrast to Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA), who blasted Jordan’s role in January 6 and his abilities as a legislator.

“In addition to not passing one piece of legislation, he has never put a piece of legislation that has made it to committee,” he said.

He also called on the GOP to seek a bipartisan solution. “The country can’t afford more delays and more chaos,” he said.

PREVIOUSLY: With the Israel-Hamas war on the brink of escalating and the crisis in Ukraine continues, the House of Representatives was poised to spend another day in vexing drama.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) looked to secure the speakership in a second roll call vote, reportedly as some other GOPers are ready to offer an alternative: Give the current speaker pro tem, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), additional powers to move legislation. That is critical as President Joe Biden, on his visit to Israel, said that he would seek an “unprecedented” aid package for the country reeling from the Hamas attacks.

The House chaplain referred to the “cacophony of chaos” in the House in her morning prayer, reflecting the angst among Republicans that no one appears to be able to pass the 217 votes needed to be elected speaker.

The alternative plan, to essentially make McHenry the speaker on a temporary basis, got buy in from two former House leaders: Newt Gingrich and John Boehner. Gingrich even appeared on Fox News’ Hannity on Tuesday night that his hunch was that Jordan’s support topped out at the 200 votes he received in the first round, short of what he needs.

“If that happens, we can’t sit around and suck our thumbs and hope the world will wait til the House Republicans get their act together,” Gingrich said.

Hannity has been a Jordan booster, with his staff sending out emails to Republican holdouts that queried why they were not rallying behind the Ohio congressman, who drew attention for his flame-throwing tactics and defense of Donald Trump. Other media figures on the right have also pressured reluctant Republicans, but those tactics appear to have backfired, in the words of one of Jordan’s supporters, Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL).

Still unclear is whether the plan to boost McHenry will get buy in from Democrats, whose votes may be needed to make it work. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries had works of praise for McHenry on Tuesday evening.

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