Updated Oct 19, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Jim Jordan unpauses House speaker bid after escape hatch erupts

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

After a contentious closed-door meeting on Thursday, House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) plans to hold a third speaker vote on Friday morning, setting up another ballot where he's expected to lose.

Why it matters: Jordan lost support between the first and second speaker votes, and Republicans and Democrats signaled they were prepared to make a push to empower Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry. But the plan met fierce backlash.

  • Jordan initially planned to pause his speaker bid while backing the plan to temporarily empower McHenry.
  • But conservatives pushed back on the plan to create a bipartisan coalition.
  • On that list was House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, who said publicly on Thursday: "[W]e should never allow a Democrat-backed coalition government. Ever. The only coalition we should be looking to build is a Republican coalition uniting all of our conference."

Zoom out: McHenry has said he won't act on legislation in his current position, so a bipartisan group of House lawmakers wants to temporarily empower him to pass legislation.

  • Government funding runs out in less than a month, and many in Congress are anxious to pass legislation on aid for Israel and Ukraine.

The bottom line: Two GOP speaker nominees have failed in recent days, and the outlook is dim for a candidate who can unite the fractured conference.

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