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Jim Jordan fails in second House speaker vote, leaving path forward in doubt

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Jim Jordan loses support on 2nd House speaker ballot; 1 member votes for John Boehner 11:32

Washington — Rep. Jim Jordan failed Wednesday on the second ballot to secure enough votes to become House speaker, leaving the lower chamber without a leader as Republicans' path forward remained unclear

All total, 22 Republicans voted against Jordan, who garnered a total of 199 votes. Four more Republicans voted against him compared to Tuesday's first ballot. He picked up two Republicans, Reps. Doug LaMalfa of California and Victoria Spartz of Virginia.

Some Republicans — including three former Republican House speakers — on Wednesday indicated they want the lower chamber to vote to elevate the authority of Rep. Patrick McHenry, the speaker pro tempore. One key Republican source texted CBS News after the vote that "all roads lead to McHenry."

Any effort to empower McHenry would likely require support from Democrats, with some saying they favor a vote to expand his authority to allow for consideration of a limited legislative agenda. House Democrats on Wednesday unanimously voted for their leader, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, and would likely seek concessions in any agreement to back McHenry.

For his part, Jordan vowed to remain in the race despite his disappointing showing in the second round. The House is adjourned until noon on Thursday.


Jordan critics to stagger votes so opposition against him grows with each round

Some Jordan critics inside the House Republican conference have decided to stagger their votes, so the votes against Jordan grow with each round. This stems from their belief that Jordan won't quit the speaker race unless it's obvious he's losing votes along the way, according to two House Republicans who spoke on background to discuss private deliberations. 

CNN first reported this development. 

By Robert Costa

GOP holdouts call for House to return immediately for another vote

Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson, who backed Scalise on the two ballots for speaker, sent a letter to McHenry requesting the House "return immediately" for a third round of voting.

The House has been in recess since earlier Wednesday, when Jordan failed to secure the necessary votes to win the gavel.

Simpson's request was backed by Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, also a Scalise supporter, who shared the letter on social media and wrote "It's time to vote."

By Melissa Quinn

Pelosi: Rejection of Jordan is "a triumph for democracy"

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries holds hands with Rep. Nancy Pelosi as the House holds its second round of voting for a new speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 18, 2023.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries holds hands with Rep. Nancy Pelosi as the House holds its second round of voting for a new speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 18, 2023. Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the former House speaker who now holds the title speaker emerita, called Jordan an "insurrectionist" and said the vote against him was a "triumph."

"I think it's a triumph for democracy in our country that an insurrectionist was rejected by the Republicans again as their candidate for speaker," Pelosi said at the Capitol. "We've always wished the winning party well as they choose their leader."

Pelosi, who stepped aside as Democratic leader when Republicans took control of the House after last year's elections, said both parties have "always respected each other's judgment" when it came to selecting a House speaker. "But today and yesterday, that was an assault on our democracy, as Jim Jordan assaulted our democracy on Jan. 6," she said.

Jordan is one of former President Donald Trump's staunchest defenders in Congress, and the House Jan. 6 committee portrayed him as a "significant player" in Trump's efforts to reverse the 2020 election results. 

"He participated in numerous post-election meetings in which senior White House officials, Rudolph Giuliani, and others, discussed strategies for challenging the election, chief among them claims that the election had been tainted by fraud," the committee wrote in its final report.

By Stefan Becket

Jordan doesn't expect another vote Wednesday

Jordan told reporters that he does not expect the House to hold another vote for speaker on Wednesday.

It's not clear when the next vote will take place, as House Republicans continue to deliberate.

By Nikole Killion

Jordan vows to stay in the race despite loss on second ballot

Jordan told reporters following the vote that he plans to remain in the race for speaker and will continue talking with members. 

"Speaker McCarthy, he had a two-month runway from when he got the conference nomination and when we got to that first week in January, so we're right where he was in his numbers," Jordan said, referencing the span between the internal vote to nominate McCarthy held after the November midterm elections and the formal vote that took place on the House floor at the start of the new Congress.

The Ohio Republican continued: "We got 200 votes. You know, we picked up some today, a couple dropped off but they voted for me before, I think they can come back again. So we'll keep talking to members, we'll keep working on it."

Asked whether he is staying in the race and feels that he is in good shape, Jordan replied, "Yep." 

Jordan said he is unsure whether the Republican conference will gather for a meeting but said he plans to meet with members individually.

Asked about a proposal to expand McHenry's powers as speaker pro tempore, the conservative lawmaker said "at some point, that question should be called," but added that doing so will be up to McHenry as the interim speaker.

By Nikole Killion

Jordan holdouts Granger and Kiggans push back on pressure campaign to change votes

GOP Reps. Kay Granger of Texas and Jen Kiggans of Virginia, who were among the Republicans who voted for someone other than Jordan during the two rounds of voting, separately said the ongoing pressure campaign being mounted by Jordan's allies will not sway them.

"Steve Scalise is an honorable man and has earned my vote for Speaker. This was a vote of conscience and I stayed true to my principles. Intimidation and threats will not change my position," Granger posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Granger, who chairs the Appropriations Committee, cast both of her votes for Scalise.

Kiggans separately noted her experience as a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Navy and wrote on social media that "threats and intimidation tactics will not change my principles and values."

Kiggans supported McCarthy on the first two ballots.

By Melissa Quinn

McHenry calls House into recess, with next steps unclear

After Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry declared "a speaker has not been elected," he called the House into recess for an indefinite period. 

House Republicans are expected to huddle to hash out what they'll do next. It's unclear whether they will take more votes this afternoon, or begin searching for an alternative way to handle the speaker situation. 

By Kathryn Watson

The other Republicans who received votes for speaker

A total of 22 Republican lawmakers cast their votes for someone other than Jordan. 

Of those currently in the House, Scalise received seven votes, McCarthy received five votes, and Reps. Byron Donalds of Florida, Tom Emmer of Minnesota, Mike Garcia of California, Kay Granger of Texas and Bruce Westerman of Arkansas all had one vote apiece in their name. 

Three former House members also earned votes: Zeldin, a former New York congressman, received three votes, while former Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and former Rep. Candice Miller of Michigan each received one vote. 

By Melissa Quinn

"All roads lead to McHenry," says one key GOP source

Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry is likely to see a push for his powers to be expanded if no consensus is found. But details continue to be debated among lawmakers. 

"All roads lead to McHenry," one key House GOP source texts CBS News from the House floor, as Republicans scramble this hour following Jordan's inability to win the gavel on a second ballot. 

By Robert Costa

Here are the Republicans who voted against Jim Jordan on the second ballot

Twenty-two Republicans voted against Jordan on Tuesday, with Jordan losing the support of four Republicans but gaining the support of two more. 

Reps. Vern Buchanan, Drew Ferguson, Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Pete Stauber all voted for Jordan on the first ballot but switched on the second to supporting someone else. Reps. Doug LaMalfa of California and Victoria Spartz of Virginia both flipped from other candidates to Jordan. 

Read more here


Two Republicans switch to support Jordan

Two Republicans who backed other candidates on the first ballot switched their positions and cast their votes for Jordan on the second round.

Rep. Doug LaMalfa of California voted for McCarthy in the first round, and Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana cast her vote for Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky.

Their changes, though, did not help get Jordan closer to 217 votes, since he lost four more Republicans since Tuesday. 

By Melissa Quinn

Jordan lacks the votes to become speaker in second round of voting

Jordan has already lost more than a dozen Republicans, adding new additions to the initial list of defectors. He can only afford to lose four Republicans. 

Republican defectors are becoming more free with their nominations, with Rep. Mike Kelly offering a vote for former Speaker of the House John Boehner, who led the chamber from 2011-2015.  

At least one Republican on Wednesday switched votes from McCarthy to Jordan — Rep. Doug LaMalfa of California. California is McCarthy's home state. 

By Kathryn Watson

McCarthy blames Gaetz for fundraising off his ouster — and continued stalemate

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy spoke to reporters en route to the chamber ahead of Wednesday's first vote. He blamed Rep. Matt Gaetz for fundraising off his ouster — as well as for the continued speaker stalemate. McCarthy reaffirmed his support for Jordan, and said he should be allowed to work through this.

Asked by CBS if Jordan should go 15 rounds like he did, he said he hopes Jordan wins now in the current round. 

By Nikole Killion

Jordan sees first new GOP defections in second round of voting

As the second round of voting began Wednesday afternoon, Jordan began to see more Republican defections.

Rep. Vern Buchanan of Florida became the first initial Jordan voter to switch loyalties, casting his vote for fellow Floridian, Rep. Byron Donalds. 

Rep. Drew Ferguson of Georgia, who initially voted for Jordan, followed, casting his vote for Majority Leader Steve Scalise. 

Those who opposed Jordan in the first round are, so far, continuing to oppose him in the second round. 

Kathryn Watson and Melissa Quinn


Aguilar nominates Democratic leader Jeffries for speaker

Rep. Pete Aguilar, chairman of the Democratic caucus, rose to nominate New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the minority leader, for speaker. Aguilar, of California, delivered the nominating speech for Jeffries before the first vote Tuesday.

Aguilar said in his speech that Jeffries has "extended the hand" of bipartisanship and accused Jordan of spending the night striking "late-night, backroom deals" to win the gavel.

Noting that Jeffries received 212 votes to Jordan's 200 on the first ballot, Aguilar said "the People's House has spoken, and Leader Jeffries has the support to be speaker that this country needs."

"No amount of election denying is going to take away from those vote totals," he said. "We shouldn't be surprised at the vote count. I noted yesterday the legislative acumen of the gentleman from Ohio."

Aguilar said that none of Jordan's bills have been considered by a House committee and accused Jordan of supporting an "extreme agenda." Jordan, he continued, is "hell-bent" on banning abortion nationwide and has "given cover" to those involved in the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol.

"Those aren't the values that we share," Aguilar said, adding that "the country can't afford more delays and more chaos. Fifteen days should be enough."

By Melissa Quinn

Tom Cole nominates Jordan for speaker

Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma stood to nominate Jordan for speaker, to the applause of other Republicans in the chamber. 

"Two weeks and one day ago, I was on this house floor and in this chamber defending my very good friend and our former speaker, Mr. McCarthy, from an effort to vacate the chair," Cole said, adding that the two weeks since have been nothing but chaos. 

"We have a chance today to end that chaos and to end that uncertainty," Cole said, adding that he's "proud" to nominate Jordan. 

"My friend is not exactly a shrinking violet," Cole said of Jordan. Cole called Jordan an "honorable" man of absolute integrity, and a direct man. 

"It takes a spine of steel to do this job," Cole said, adding that Jordan has that quality in "great abundance."

By Kathryn Watson

221 Republicans and 211 Democrats present for second round of voting

As with Tuesday, the House session began with members recording their presence to determine how many lawmakers are on the floor.

The vote showed that all 221 Republicans and 211 Democrats are in attendance. Two seats, held by former Reps. Chris Stewart of Utah and David Cicilline of Rhode Island, are vacant as a result of their resignations.

GOP Rep. Gus Bilirakis of Florida, who was absent for the first vote and has said he will support Jordan, has returned. One Democrat, New Jersey Rep. Donald Payne, is not in attendance for the second vote.

The number of members present, 433, does not change how many votes Jordan will need to win a majority: 217. A Republican and Democrat will give speeches nominating Jordan and Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, respectively, for speaker following the quorum call, and then the second roll call vote will begin.

By Melissa Quinn

McHenry starts the quorum call

Shortly after 11 a.m., Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry began the quorum call for another day of voting for a new speaker, as Jordan appears far from securing the necessary 217 votes. 

By Kathryn Watson

Perry says Jordan will likely have "fewer votes"

Republican Rep. Scott Perry posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday morning ahead of the House returning that "Jordan will likely have FEWER votes today than yesterday." 

Perry voted for Jordan in the first round of voting. "This is the fight — which Jim Jordan represents — to end the status quo, and it ain't easy," Perry added on Wednesday. 

Twenty Republicans voted for candidates other than Jordan on Tuesday. 

By Caroline Linton

Wife of Rep. Don Bacon receives anonymous messages about speaker vote

CBS News has confirmed the wife of Republican Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska, who declined to vote for Jordan on the first ballot, received text messages earlier this week over Bacon's vote for speaker. The Nebraska Republican backed McCarthy in the first round of voting.

"Talk to your husband tell him to step up and be a leader and help the Republican Party get a speaker there's too much going on in the world for all this going on in Republican Party you guys take five steps forward and then turn around take 20 steps backwards no wonder our party always ends up getting screwed over," one of the messages read.

In another, the sender asks, "Why is your husband causing chaos by not supporting Jim Jordan? I thought he was a team player."

Bacon's wife responded in two messages, "Who is This???" and "Oh now you have nothing to say???"

The anonymous sender then wrote, "Your husband will not hold any political office ever again. What a disappoint [sic] and failure he is." 

Bacon's wife replied, "He has more courage than you. You won't put your name to your statements."

By Scott MacFarlane

Jordan says he'll stay in speaker's race, dismisses push to empower McHenry

Jordan told reporters that he is not dropping out of the race and plans to meet more members before the next vote. 

"I've already proven I can get from the most conservative members of the conference, to the more moderate members of the conference. So I've got a whole cross section of the conference," he said. "It's important that we get the last few."

Asked by CBS News if he would support efforts to empower McHenry, Jordan replied "we need to elect a speaker." 

"I don't think that's the right way to go. I think we should get a Republican speaker," Jordan said. "I got 90% of the Republicans in the conference."

Joyce, a fellow Ohio Republican, will attempt to file a motion to elect McHenry as the permanent speaker pro tempore, CBS News has learned. He is currently designated as speaker pro tempore.

 "After two weeks without a speaker of the House and no clear candidate with 217 votes in the Republican conference, it is time to look at other viable options. By empowering Patrick McHenry as Speaker Pro Tempore we can take care of our ally Israel until a new speaker is elected," Joyce said in a statement.

By Nikole Killion

Support grows for expanding McHenry's power

Following Jordan's failure to win the needed votes to become speaker, support is growing behind a proposal to empower Rep. Patrick McHenry, who has been serving as the temporary speaker.

McHenry was appointed speaker pro tempore by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy under a rule that was adopted by the House after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. But given the unprecedented nature of McCarthy's removal, the extent of McHenry's authority has been unclear.

Since assuming the role, the North Carolina Republican has limited his acts to gaveling the House in and out of session and overseeing the election of a new speaker, though he also ordered two top Democrats, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, to vacate offices in the Capitol.  

But with the House remaining at a standstill, some Republican lawmakers — including two former speakers — believe the lower chamber should act to expand McHenry's power.

"By electing Representative McHenry as Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of Representatives, the House will be able to hold votes necessary to fund the government beyond the expiration of our current fiscal year," Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania said in a statement Monday.

Kelly introduced a resolution that would elect McHenry speaker pro tempore until Nov. 17 or until a new speaker is elected, whichever comes first. He said in a letter to colleagues that according to the House parliamentarian, McHenry is speaker pro tempore by designation only, which limits his powers. But by formally electing him, the House would give McHenry the authority to move legislation to the floor.

Former Speakers Newt Gingrich and John Boehner also encouraged the House to expand McHenry's powers.

In response to a social media post from Boehner expressing support for empowering McHenry, Ohio Rep. Dave Joyce wrote, "funny you mention it…" Rep. Carlos Gimenez, a Florida Republican opposes Jordan and has said he will not be persuaded to back the conservative, also posted on social media to urge giving McHenry more authority.

Any effort to empower McHenry would likely require support from House Democrats, and some have said they favor a vote to expand his authority to allow for consideration of a limited legislative agenda. Four Democratic members of the Problem Solvers Caucus signed on to a letter urging an immediate vote, and the proposal was endorsed by the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of centrist Democrats. 

By Melissa Quinn

Rep. Carlos Gimenez: "I am not going to be voting for Jim Jordan to be speaker of the House"

One Republican who voted against Jordan was Rep. Carlos Gimenez, of Florida. In an interview with CBS News' Nikole Killion on "America Decides" Tuesday night, he talked about why Jordan would never have his vote.

He told Killion he was "very disturbed at the tactics used by Jim Jordan supporters."

Right-wing activists who are Jordan allies have been pressuring Republicans opposing Jordan by urging their social media followers to flood their offices with calls. Conservative commentators are also slamming these Republicans. Fox News' Sean Hannity called them "sensitive little snowflakes" on his show Monday night.

Gimenez objects to the "total lies" they told about him, including "that I was supporting [Hakeem] Jeffries for speaker." 

"I will never vote for Hakeem Jeffries for speaker," Gimenez said. "I want a conservative, Republican to be the speaker." 

Gimenez says these tactics won't work. 

"What you've done now, you've cemented my position. So, I am for Kevin McCarthy. I will continue to be for Kevin McCarthy, Gimenez said. "I am not gonna be voting for Jim Jordan to be the speaker of the House."

—Grace Kazarian and Melissa Quinn contributed to this post.


What happened in the first round on Tuesday?

Jordan lost 20 Republicans in the first round of voting, guaranteeing another ballot. He won 200 GOP votes, but he needed 217 to win the speakership. 

All the Democrats voted for Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, who received 212 votes. 

On the first ballot, six Republicans voted for former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who lost the gavel on Oct. 3. Several others voted for the GOP's first nominee after McCarthy's ouster, Majority Leader Steve Scalise. He withdrew his name from consideration last week when he recognized he would not be able to win the support necessary to win. Former New York Rep. Lee Zeldin also won three votes.

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