OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan lost the speakership vote for the third time. The Ohio Republican has promised to keep fighting despite facing strong opposition and losing two votes earlier this week.
Due to the absences on the roll call vote, Jordan only lost 5 votes in the House today, even though 25 Republicans voted against him. The first round of voting cost him 20 votes, and the second round cost him 22.
Jordan said he plans to remain in the race for Speaker, adding that the House would remain in session over the weekend and continue holding votes until a Speaker is elected.
After the vote late on Friday morning, Jordan seemed optimistic when speaking with a reporter.
Jim Jordan is not backing down:
“You guys said we were going to lose 15 to 30. We only lost a couple.” pic.twitter.com/uST7KSZFie
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) October 20, 2023
Jordan made his vow during a press conference on Capitol Hill days after twice losing his Speaker bid, falling well short of the required 217 votes needed to take the gavel.
“We need to get to work for the American people. We need to do what we said we were going to do, we need to do what we told them we were going to do when they elected us and put us in office, and frankly, we can’t do that if the House isn’t open. We can’t open the House until we get a speaker,” Jordan said, per CNN, on the 17th day without a Speaker.
“The quickest way to get all this working is to get a speaker elected. That’s what I’m hoping we can do today,” he added.
A vote is reportedly planned for 10 a.m. EDT, CNN reported.
“The plan this weekend is to get a speaker elected to the House of Representatives as soon as possible,” he told CNN’s Lauren Fox when he was asked how many rounds he was prepared to go.
“We need to get back to our committee work. And frankly, we need to continue the oversight work that I think is so darn important,” he added.
CNN noted further:
Weekend votes are expected but given his plans have changed constantly this week, there is a lot still up in the air. The pressure he will feel when he keeps bleeding votes, as is expected, will be immense.
The House remains effectively frozen as long as there is no elected speaker – a perilous situation as Congress faces an impending government funding deadline and the threat of a shutdown.
Meanwhile, the Republican conference remains in turmoil.
Several House Republicans, including former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), reportedly screamed and yelled at Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) during a closed-door GOP conference meeting to decide how best to proceed in order to name a new Speaker, according to reports.
Axios Capitol Hill reporter Juliegrace Brufke noted on the X platform on Thursday, “Per a source in the room, McCarthy screamed at Matt Gaetz to sit down when he went to the mics, with the source saying Rep. Bost ‘almost lunging at him.’” Rep. Mike Bost is a GOP lawmaker from Illinois.
“McCarthy advocated for empowering McHenry while Jordan staying on as speaker designee, per two sources,” she added.
McCarthy advocated for empowering McHenry while Jordan staying on as speaker designee, per two sources.
— Juliegrace Brufke (@juliegraceb) October 19, 2023
Later, both McCarthy and Gaetz appeared to confirm the incident to reporters.
In response to a question from an MSNBC reporter about how “icy” it was in the GOP conference meeting for him, Gaetz explained that as an attorney by trade, he doesn’t “get emotional” when making his case.
“I’m not for everyone, as it turns out, and I have my detractors, but I’m an attorney by trade,” he began. “I don’t get emotional about the presentation of arguments, listening to other people’s arguments, that doesn’t affect how I think about people.”
He then made his case for why the GOP conference should support Jordan.
“I prefer for us to continue having votes, going forward, and you know, when I held out with Speaker McCarthy, we had goals. We had specific things we were fighting for. I think a reasonable question to those holding out and not voting for [Rep. Jim] Jordan [R-Ohio] is, ‘What are you fighting for? What are your goals? What are your objectives other than just recalcitrance?’”
McCarthy also confirmed the incident but was less charitable with his explanation.
“I was at the mic, I was speaking, and Matt Gaetz tried to interrupt essentially, and I told him to sit down, and he sat down” the California Republican began.
When pressed further about whether he “screamed” at the Florida Republican, McCarthy said, “I think the entire conference screamed at him.”