WASHINGTON – House Republicans failed on Tuesday to leave the chaos of the last two weeks behind, after Jim Jordan of Ohio fell short of the votes needed to win the race to be the next speaker of the House.
Thirteen days after Kevin McCarthy was ousted as Speaker of the House, 432 members from the Democratic and Republican parties returned to the House floor intent to get back to work. But a disjointed Republican party placed the House at a standstill once again.
The Democrats voted unanimously for their nominee, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), who received 212 votes, while the Republicans fell short of the 217 votes needed to secure the speakership, with only 200 votes for Jordan.
Despite the setback, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) predicted that the House would be back to work soon. “I do think Jim Jordan is going to make it this week,” he told reporters.
Massie received one of the 20 defection votes. Former speaker Kevin McCarthy, Lee Zeldin of New York, former speaker nominee Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Majority Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota, Mike Garcia of California and Tom Cole of Oklahoma, were the other five Republicans to receive votes.
Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer of Oregon was one of the six representatives to defect from Jordan and vote for McCarthy. In a statement released after the vote, Chavez-DeRemer referenced the “nonstop chaos coming out of D.C.” She said she would only support a nominee who had the “consensus of the Republican Conference.”
Earlier this year, when McCarthy faced a similar uphill battle to gain the consensus of the conference, he cut deals with his Republican colleagues and made various arrangements. It still took 15 rounds to secure the speakership.
According to Massie, Jordan would win without cutting deals.
“Jim Jordan has gotten this far without a single deal. And he’s got a plan to keep us from getting into a shutdown. He’s the only one who can reset the expectations that had been set earlier with conservatives. That’s why I think he’s the only viable candidate we have. And I think he’s going to get there this week,” Massie said.