The House of Representatives has been without a speaker for over two weeks, and the search for a new one is not expected to end soon. Republicans have placed their faith in Representative Jim Jordan, who was ousted from the speakership after Congressman Kevin McCarthy was ousted. However, after two floor votes, Jordan still lacks the necessary support to win the seat. The Democratic caucus remains united behind Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries. Some moderate Republicans and Democrats have proposed expanding Patrick McHenry’s speaker pro tempore role. However, some GOP lawmakers have rejected this idea.
How Many Votes Does It Take to Become Speaker?
The speaker of the US House of Representatives is facing a challenge as two seats in the chamber are currently vacant, making the target 217 votes. The resignations of former Utah Congressman Chris Stewart and former Rhode Island Representative David Cicilline created the vacancy. Jordan is now tasked with reaching the 217th threshold unless Congress members are not in person to vote or abstain. McCarthy was elected in January after six Republicans voted “present” on the House floor, lowering the target to 215 votes. However, Republicans hold a slim majority in the House, with 221 Republicans and 212 Democrats, making it difficult for any potential speaker nominee to upend the vote.
Where Did Jordan Leave Off?
Jim Jordan’s bid for speaker faced significant challenges, with Congressman Steve Scalise initially selected as the next speaker. However, after Scalise withdrew his name, Jordan won the next closed-door party vote, beating Georgia Representative Austin Scott 124 to 81. However, after two House floor votes this week, Jordan’s support is still far from reaching 217. On Tuesday, 20 GOP members voted against him, and on Wednesday, that number rose to 22. Some lawmakers have voted for McCarthy to return to his role, while others still support Scalise. After hours behind closed doors, Republicans abandoned a potential resolution to expand McHenry’s position, and Jordan announced that he is still in the running. He plans to go to the floor and get the votes and win the race, but he wants to talk with his colleagues, particularly the 20 individuals who voted against him, so that they can move forward and work for the American people.