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Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio lost Tuesday’s inaugural vote for Speaker, but has announced he plans to try again tomorrow. Jordan, an ally of former President Donald Trump and seen by conservatives as an effective conservative voice, but faced opposition from some Republicans as too divisive a figure.
Jordan garnered just 200 of the 217 required for victory while House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York received 212.
After the vote, Jordan said he wasn’t surprised at his score and expected a stronger showing in round two. In order to woo back those who opposed him and win back support he intended on spending 24 hours speaking directly with those members who did vote against him to try win their support again.
“We will keep working at it,” Jordan asserted, reassuring members. We will get this done.”
Why did Jordan lose the first vote?
Jordan may have lost the first vote due to various reasons.
Paul Ryan stands out as being an extremely divisive figure who enjoys widespread support among conservatives while being disliked by both Democrats and liberals alike. Such division could thwart any attempts he might make at winning over 217 members to secure Speaker status.
Second, Jordan has come under criticism for his participation in the January 6th attack against the Capitol. Jordan openly supported President Trump’s claims of election fraud at rallies held prior to this attack; additionally he spoke at its associated rally which preceded it. This involvement in January 6th may alienate certain Republicans looking for more moderate leadership candidates.
Thirdly, Jordan isn’t the only Republican interested in running for Speaker; Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) also wants this role and enjoys support among many Republican leaders. McCarthy may prove more successful at gathering 217 member signatures than Jordan would due to their more moderate approach and will probably win their support as Speaker candidate.
What are Jordan’s chances of winning on Wednesday?
Jordan faces an uphill struggle when it comes to winning on Wednesday; to do so he will need to gain over some Republicans who voted against him on Tuesday, while also making sure all his supporters vote in his favour.
Jordan may still stand a chance against McCarthy if he can make inroads among some of those Republicans who opposed him on Tuesday; otherwise he is more than likely doomed for defeat.
What does this mean for the House of Representatives?
Jordan’s defeat indicates a division among Republican Party members that could make effective governance difficult if they take control of the House in 2022 midterm elections.
If Jordan wins, it would signal further consolidation within the Republican Party and increase partisan gridlock, potentially making passing legislation more challenging.
McCarthy’s win would signal the Republican Party’s attempt at unification behind more moderate candidates; this could help reduce gridlock within Congress, making passage of bills simpler and making legislative process faster overall.
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Wednesday’s vote on Speaker of the House could have an enormous influence on both the Republican Party and House of Representatives, so it will be worth keeping an eye out to see whether Jordan manages to convince some Republicans who voted against him on Tuesday, or if McCarthy consolidates their support and win outright.