Jordan fails in second attempt to become speaker of US House of Representatives

Conservative politician received fewer votes than in the first ballot on Tuesday

Conservative Republican politician Jim Jordan has failed in a second attempt to be elected as speaker of the US House of Representatives.

The House remains effectively paralysed and unable to pass legislation after neither Mr Jordan nor the Democratic Party candidate Hakeem Jeffries secured the 217 votes needed for the position.

Speaking after the vote Mr Jordan said: “We picked up some [votes] today, a couple dropped off. But they voted for me before, I think they can come back again.”

Within a Republican Party beset by infighting, there is no agreement on how to move forward and no consensus on who should be the next speaker.


The speaker has an important role in the US political system and is third in the line of succession to the White House after the president and vice-president.

Mr Jordan received fewer votes in the second ballot on Wednesday than in the first round on Tuesday. He received 199 votes while Mr Jeffries received 212. A total of 22 votes went to others, some of whom are not members of the House of Representatives.

Four Republicans who had voted for Mr Jordan on the first ballot opposed him in the second round of voting.

Two Republicans who had voted against Mr Jordan on the first ballot supported him in the second.

Mr Jordan is a strong supporter of former president Donald Trump, who has backed him for the speakership.

Some Republicans are considering whether to give additional powers to the temporary speaker Patrick McHenry. He essentially presides over the chamber to bring it to order and into recess as well as oversee the vote for a new speaker.

The Republican governance group of more centrist members of the party, led by David Joyce of Ohio, has backed a resolution to give Mr McHenry temporary powers as speaker until after Christmas.

This would be aimed at allowing the House of Representatives sufficient time to work on a bipartisan basis to deal with priority issues such as keeping the US government open and providing aid to Israel and Ukraine.

Mr Jeffries said on Tuesday there was growing momentum within his parliamentary party to look at this issue.

However, it is understood the proposal is not supported by other Republicans including allies of Mr Jordan.

The House of Representatives has been in turmoil for the last fortnight. The unrest began when a group of hard-right Republicans rebelled against the former speaker Kevin McCarthy after he had joined Democrats to support a temporary financial measure to keep the US government open.

The rebels joined with Democrats to oust Mr McCarthy. However, Republicans over the last fortnight could not agree on Mr McCarthy’s replacement.

Louisiana congressman Steve Scalise was the first choice of the Republicans to be the party’s nominee to run for the speakership. However, he dropped out after it emerged that he would have insufficient support from within his party to win in a vote on the full floor of the House.

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is the former Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent