Republicans Fail to Elect Jim Jordan as House Speaker on First Ballot

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) failed to grasp the speaker’s gavel during the first round of voting Tuesday. 

More voting is expected as Jordan works to shore up support to replace the ousted Kevin McCarthy for the job that’s third in line to the presidency. 

Jordan scrambled unsuccessfully to shore up the votes needed to clinch the speakership in the closely divided chamber. With the House Republican majority narrowly held at 221-212, the Ohio Republican could only afford to lose only a few votes to reach the 217 majority threshold. But 20 Republicans voted against him, well more than the three he could spare to win the speakership. 

However, with public pressure bearing down on the lawmakers, it’s unclear how long the holdouts can last. 

Jordan said afterward he was not surprised and expected to do better in the next round. Additional voting was postponed as the House hit a standstill, stuck while the Ohio Republican worked to shore up support from Republican colleagues. Next votes were expected Wednesday.

“We feel confident,” he said, ducking into a leadership office “We’ve already talked to some members who are going to vote with us on the second ballot.”

Jordan had successfully converted several dozens of his detractors over the last few days. 

Republicans gave Rep. Steve Scalise a standing ovation after he cast his vote for Jordan for speaker.

Scalise was first nominated to the speakership last week before withdrawing his name when it became clear he would come up short.