Oct 17, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Jim Jordan fails to win House speaker vote on first ballot

Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) fell short of the 217 votes needed to become House speaker during the first roll call ballot on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The Jordan team entered the day expecting to need multiple ballots to win the gavel, but they're dealing with a group of resolute GOP defectors.

Driving the news: 200 House Republicans voted for Jordan on the first ballot.

  • But 20 Republicans voted against him, including votes for McCarthy, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Ind.) and House Rules Committee Chair Tom Cole (R-Okla.), among others.
  • All Democrats voted for Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).
  • The 20 Republicans voting against Jordan matched the worst ballot for McCarthy during his speaker election in January.

Zoom in: A group of GOP pragmatists and institutionalists cited concerns over Jordan's ties to former President Trump, Jan. 6, the Freedom Caucus, his fundraising abilities and alleged bullying tactics.

The intrigue: Conservatives have heavily pushed for Jordan — a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus — after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) ousted McCarthy and Scalise dropped out of the race.

  • Jordan won the GOP's internal election in a 124-81 vote on Friday, with a subsequent vote finding 55 members that wouldn't vote for him on the floor.
  • By Monday Jordan managed to significantly whittle down the number of defectors, flipping key critics.
  • McCarthy opted to throw his weight behind Jordan in the race, with some Scalise allies frustrated that he didn't do more to boost Scalise's candidacy.
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