After Rep. Jim Jordan lost his third bid at becoming speaker of the House and more Republicans voted against the Ohio congressman, congressional Republicans decided Friday afternoon not to back Jordan for a potential fourth ballot. Without a speaker, the House has been unable to consider legislation.
Republicans need 217 of their 221 members to agree on a speaker, as Democrats have united behind their party leader, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.
Heading into Friday, Jordan remained the Republicans' speaker-designee. On Wednesday, he was 18 votes shy of becoming the new speaker as 22 Republicans voted for other candidates. On Friday, 25 Republicans voted for someone other than Jordan, indicating he was losing support among members. He could only afford to have four members vote for someone else in order to get a majority.
Jordan said prior to the vote on Friday that he hadn't given up his pursuit of becoming speaker. One resolution that was discussed on Thursday was to elevate Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry, but has not been considered on the floor.
Prior to the vote, Jordan told reporters Friday he still believed he could change the minds of members who haven't supported him.
“The quickest way to get all this working is to get a speaker elected. That’s what I hope we can do today," he said.
Republicans are now back at square one in deciding on a new speaker. New candidate names are due on Sunday with another candidate forum scheduled for Monday evening.
Until a speaker is chosen, the House is unable to consider President Joe Biden's proposed aid package for Ukraine and Israel. The president announced Thursday night a proposed $100 billion in assistance to help Israel fight Hamas and help Ukraine battle Russia.
"You're making the case to why we need to get the House open — so we can evaluate the package," Jordan said in response to President Biden's proposal. "We can't do that; all the more reason we need to get the House open."
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