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Jim Jordan’s Failed Bid for House Speaker Raises Questions and Sparks Competition Among Potential Candidates

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In the recent race for the speakership in the House of Representatives, Republican Representative Jim Jordan faced significant opposition and ultimately failed to secure the position. In the first floor vote on Tuesday, 20 House Republicans voted against Jordan, leaving him far short of the 217 votes needed to win. With the GOP's slim majority in the House, Jordan could only afford four defections within his conference and still become speaker.

The number of Republican representatives voting against Jordan increased to 22 in the second round on Wednesday.[0] This narrow majority meant that Jordan could only afford to lose a handful of members from his party to secure the speakership with 217 votes. However, the opposition to Jordan's bid grew with each successive ballot.[1] On Friday, 25 House Republicans joined the united Democratic caucus in opposing Jordan's third bid for speaker. This led to a closed-door vote to strip him of the nomination, which he was clearly destined to lose by an even wider margin.[1]

Jordan's failed attempts to secure the speakership have raised questions about his ability to persuade, legislate, and count votes, which are considered essential skills for a House speaker.[2] The chaos-ridden House Republican caucus tried to rally behind Jordan, but his support continued to dwindle with each vote.[3] This loss has been seen as a significant blow to Jordan's bid for the most prominent position in the House.

The opposition to Jordan's candidacy was not monolithic, but several key factions lined up against him.[4] Six of the 18 Republicans representing districts won by President Joe Biden in 2020 voted against Jordan.[4] Additionally, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Kay Granger of Texas and five GOP members on her panel voted against Jordan, indicating that his efforts to sink spending bills have generated hard feelings.[4]

Jordan's tactics and hard-right beliefs have long caused grumbling among more moderate and rule-following Republicans.[5] As he mounted his own speaker race, these grumbles grew louder, and many believed that electing Jordan would reward what they considered bad behavior.[5] However, Jordan's supporters argued that it was the moderates who were standing in the way of the majority's views and brushed aside the idea that they were being served their own medicine.[5]

The lack of a speaker in the House has significant consequences. Without a speaker, the chamber cannot advance any legislation, leaving members unable to pass critical bills such as a stopgap government funding measure or an aid package for Israel and Ukraine.[6] The threat of a federal shutdown looms as government funding is set to run out in less than a month.[7]

In light of Jordan's failed bid, other Republicans have emerged as potential candidates for the speakership. Representative Tom Emmer of Minnesota, who serves as majority whip, is considered a likely front-runner.[8] He has been endorsed by the previous House speaker, Kevin McCarthy.[8] Representative Kevin Hern of Oklahoma and Representative Byron Donalds of Florida have also announced their intention to run for speaker.[9]

The House GOP conference plans to hold a candidate forum on Monday to consider these potential candidates and vote on a new Speaker-designate the following morning.[8] The pressure is mounting for the House to elect a speaker as critical legislative matters, including government funding and aid to Israel and Ukraine, hang in the balance.

0. “GOP drops Jim Jordan as House speaker nominee after he loses 3rd vote” CBS News, 21 Oct. 2023,

1. “House GOP Drops Jordan as Speaker Nominee in Secret-Ballot Vote” National Review, 20 Oct. 2023,

2. “Jim Jordan Bites the Dust” The Nation, 19 Oct. 2023,

3. “GOP erupts in closed-door meeting after House speaker stalemate” Axios, 19 Oct. 2023,

4. “Congressional chaos deepens as Jordan puts bid for speakership on hold” Business Insider, 19 Oct. 2023,

5. “Jim Jordan's speaker bid blocked by his own tactics” The Boston Globe, 20 Oct. 2023,

6. “Jim Jordan pauses House Speaker bid as backup plan emerges”, 19 Oct. 2023,

7. “Jim Jordan forced out of House speaker race after losing secret ballot” The Guardian US, 20 Oct. 2023,

8. “House Again Fails to Elect a Speaker” Voice of America – VOA News, 20 Oct. 2023,

9. “House speaker updates: Jim Jordan out as Republican nominee” NPR, 20 Oct. 2023,

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