WASHINGTON — The House remained deadlocked Tuesday as Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, failed to secure enough votes to become speaker in the first round.
Jordan received 200 votes, well short of the 217 votes needed to win in the House; 20 Republicans voted for someone other than Jordan.
He could only afford to lose three GOP votes, given that Rep. Gus Bilirakus, R-Fla., a Jordan supporter, missed the vote due to a funeral, and all 212 Democrats voted for him. Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York.
The vote represents the angst and bitterness that lingers among Republicans after the House was plunged into paralysis two weeks ago, when a group of eight conservative rebels voted to oust former President Kevin McCarthy, in an unprecedented move.
“I’m for McCarthy,” said Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., adding that he wouldn’t vote for anyone else.
The vote proves that Jordan, chairman of the powerful Judiciary Committee supported by Donald Trump, still has work to do to convince the holdouts. His allies entered Tuesday’s vote acknowledging that they might need multiple ballots to ensure victory, but with an air of confidence that enough Republicans would rally around.
Before the first round of voting, Jordan told reporters he was in it for the long haul: “Whatever it takes to get a speaker today.” »
“We feel really good,” he said before the vote. “We need a speaker today and we’re really happy with where we are.”
After McCarthy’s expulsion, Republicans nominated Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., to succeed him, but he withdrew because he saw no way to win the votes. Then the conference chose Jordan, a right-wing firebrand who had lost a previous closed-door election to Scalise, as its candidate.
McCarthy and Scalise voted for Jordan in the first round of voting Tuesday.