The floor saw the third vote to solidify a leader of that body on Friday, and again, the House, and the American people, came up empty-handed. Jordan needed 217 votes, but he only got 194, while 25 voted against his leadership. In the last round, he earned 199.
The Democrats' House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries got the vote of every present member of his party, who stood in unity while the GOP continued to fracture.
"Trust me, being speaker is not an easy job, especially in this conference," McCarthy said, "but I've seen Jim spend his entire career fighting for freedom, no matter what the odds, and I know he's ready for the job."
Yet even the endorsement from the previous speaker was not enough to gain Jordan unity among his party. McCarthy was ousted over two weeks ago after Florida's Matt Gaetz invoked the Jeffersonian motion and called for his seat to be vacated. He and those in the GOP who voted for the motion were criticized for not having a plan to move forward with leadership.
The entire Democrat caucus got on board and voted against McCarthy. Since then, a war has erupted in the Middle East, Joe Biden has demanded billions more dollars for that war and the ongoing war in Ukraine, and the House has remained rudderless.
On two previous votes in the House, Jordan had lost more than 20 votes from his own caucus. On Friday, some of the caucus voted for Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry, about whom rumors swirled this week as to his being named an interim speaker until January.
A few votes were cast for McCarthy, others for Steve Scalise, who had pulled his name from consideration, while still others voted for former New York Congressman Lee Zeldin, who led the state's "red wave," flipping five blue seats to red in the 2022 midterm elections.
Jordan initially had indicated that he would back McHenry, only later going back to say that he would continue to pursue the seat. Many in the Republican base across the US called their representatives to demand that they elect a speaker, and cast their votes for Jordan. The hold up is among the moderates of the party.
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