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GOP drops Jim Jordan as House speaker nominee after he loses 3rd vote

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Jim Jordan dropped as nominee for House speaker as GOP stalemate continues 01:47

Washington — House Republicans voted to drop Rep. Jim Jordan as their nominee for speaker after he failed to win a majority three times this week, sending the party back to the drawing board and leaving the House leaderless for at least three more days.

The House Republican Conference gathered for a closed-door meeting Friday afternoon, where they voted by secret ballot on whether Jordan should remain the nominee. Eighty-six members said Jordan should stay in the race, and 112 said he shouldn't, according to lawmakers who were in the room.

"I thought it was important that we all know [and] get an answer to the question if they wanted me to continue in that role," Jordan said after the meeting. "So we put the question to them. They made a different decision."

The move to drop Jordan followed an earlier vote on the House floor that made clear his support was eroding. Jordan won 194 votes in this round, compared to 200 in the first round on Tuesday and 199 in the second on Wednesday. The number of Republicans voting for various non-Jordan protest candidates grew over the course of the three rounds, from 20, to 22, to 25 on Friday.

Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry, who is leading the House through the increasingly tumultuous process of finding a permanent speaker, said Republicans will hold another forum for candidates on Monday, with the goal of holding a vote on the floor on Tuesday morning.

"It is my goal to be talking to you at this time next Friday as chairman of the Financial Services Committee," McHenry said.


Rep. Tom Emmer, the No. 3 House Republican, making calls about speaker bid

House Majority Whip Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota watches as House lawmakers voted for a third time on whether to elevate Rep. Jim Jordan to speaker of the House on Oct. 20, 2023.
House Majority Whip Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota watches as House lawmakers voted for a third time on whether to elevate Rep. Jim Jordan to speaker of the House on Oct. 20, 2023. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer, who is the third highest-ranking Republican in the House as majority whip, is making calls about a possible run for speaker, according to a person familiar with his plans. 

CBS Minnesota notes that Emmer earlier declined to seek the speaker's gavel and said he would instead run to become the House majority leader if that role became vacant in a leadership shuffle. 

Rep. Ken Buck, one of the leading anti-Jordan members, supported Emmer as speaker, voting for him in each of the three rounds of voting when Scalise was the nominee.

By Nikole Killion

Who might run for House speaker now?

Soon after the GOP conference dropped Jordan as its speaker nominee, some Republicans began thinking about whether they should take a shot at the speakership.

Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida is mounting a bid, according to a source familiar with his plans. Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma told reporters, "I'm in," and added, "We've got to make a lot of phone calls this weekend." 

Hern had earlier considered running after McCarthy's ouster and said in a letter to colleagues that he "called, texted or met" with all 221 Republicans in the conference to ask what they wanted to see in their next speaker. But he withdrew from the race because he believed a "three-man race for Speaker will only draw this process out longer, creating further division which would make it harder for any candidate to reach 217 votes." 

Rep. Jack Bergman of Michigan also said he was entering the race.

"My hat is in the ring, and I feel confident I can win the votes where others could not. I have no special interests to serve; I'm only in this to do what's best for our Nation and to steady the ship for the 118th Congress," he said in a statement.

Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, the majority whip, has been floated as a speaker candidate and even received a handful of votes on the floor. When asked Friday afternoon if he were getting into the race, he replied, "Too soon."

By Jack Turman

McHenry lays out next steps in search for House speaker

Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Patrick McHenry speaks to the media as he leaves a closed-door meeting of House Republicans at the Capitol on Oct. 20, 2023.
Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Patrick McHenry speaks to the media as he leaves a closed-door meeting of House Republicans at the Capitol on Oct. 20, 2023. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

McHenry, the interim speaker, said Republicans will gather again on Monday evening for a candidate forum, where those hoping to win the party's nomination will make their case to members. He said the party will meet on Tuesday morning to vote for a nominee, with the goal of holding a floor vote later that day.

"House Republicans will return on Monday at 6:30 p.m for a candidate forum, followed by an election process on Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.," McHenry said. "The reason why I made that decision is we need space and time for candidates to talk to other members. It's fair to say that Leader Scalise wasn't given adequate time. He had 24 hours to campaign. I don't think that was right for him. Our nominee, Jordan, was given a little more time. Not right for him."

McHenry added that the "the conference made a decision that we're going to move forward with a new speaker nominee today, but the space and time for a reset is, I think, an important thing for House Republicans."

"It is my goal to be talking to you at this time next Friday as chairman of the Financial Services Committee," he said, as opposed to speaker pro tempore.

By Stefan Becket

Jordan: "We need to come together and figure out who our speaker is going to be"

Rep. Jim Jordan speaks to the media as he leaves a closed-door House Republican meeting at the Capitol on Oct. 20, 2023.
Rep. Jim Jordan speaks to the media as he leaves a closed-door House Republican meeting at the Capitol on Oct. 20, 2023. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Jordan confirmed the party chose to head in a different direction.

"I thought it was important that we all know, get an answer to the question if they wanted me to continue in that role," he said. "So we put the question to them, they made a different decision. I told the conference that I appreciated getting to work with everyone, talk with everyone." 

The Ohio Republican said GOP lawmakers "need to come together and figure out who our speaker is going to be," adding that he is "going to work as hard as I can to help that individual so that we can go help the American people."

By Stefan Becket

Jordan loses vote on whether he should remain in the race

Jordan lost the closed-door, secret-ballot vote on whether he should remain the party's nominee, with just 86 of his fellow Republicans saying he should and 112 saying he shouldn't, according to several lawmakers.

"Unfortunately, Jim is no longer going to be the nominee. We will have to go back to the drawing board," said Rep. Kevin McCarthy, whose ouster as speaker more than two weeks ago prompted the current stalemate.

Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who had his own short-lived stint as the party's speaker nominee, said the party will reconvene Monday to consider other candidates.

By Stefan Becket

House GOP voting on whether Jordan should drop his bid to be speaker

There is now a secret ballot underway in the Republican Conference's meeting about whether Jordan should drop his bid to be the next House speaker, according to two lawmakers in the room.

By Scott MacFarlane

Gaetz, who led McCarthy rebellion, offers "pound of flesh" if holdouts back Jordan

From left, Reps. Eli Crane, Tim Burchett, Matt Gaetz and Bob Good talk to reporters after the House failed for the third time to elect Rep. Jim Jordan as speaker of the House on Oct. 20, 2023, outside the Capitol.
From left, Reps. Eli Crane, Tim Burchett, Matt Gaetz and Bob Good talk to reporters after the House failed for the third time to elect Rep. Jim Jordan as speaker of the House on Oct. 20, 2023, outside the Capitol. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The Republican lawmakers behind the rebellion against now-former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy offered themselves up for punishment if the 25 GOP holdouts agree to support Jordan for speaker.

Speaking on the steps of the Capitol after the third vote, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who led the charge against McCarthy, said he and other members were prepared to fall on their swords to secure Jordan the gavel.

"The eight of us have said that we are willing to accept censure, sanction, suspension, removal from the Republican Conference. We of course will remain Republicans," Gaetz said. "But if what these holdouts need is a pound of our flesh, we're willing to give it to them in order to see them elect Jim Jordan for speaker."

Gaetz said he and the other seven anti-McCarthy lawmakers sent a letter to their colleagues urging them to support Jordan.

The other seven Republicans who voted to remove McCarthy were Andy Biggs of Arizona, Ken Buck of Colorado, Tim Burchett of Tennessee, Eli Crane of Arizona, Bob Good of Virginia, Nancy Mace of South Carolina and Matt Rosendale of Montana.

The letter Gaetz is circulating bears the names of all eight anti-McCarthy members, but a spokesman for Buck said his name was included erroneously. Buck has voted for Majority Whip Tom Emmer, not Jordan, in all three rounds of voting for speaker.

"Congressman Buck had not agreed to sign this letter and his name has since been removed," Buck's spokesperson said. "His position remains unchanged."

— Eva Pound and Ellis Kim


Who are the 25 Republicans who voted against Jordan?

Jordan received even more Republican votes against him — 25 — than he did in earlier rounds, with three more GOP members joining the ranks of the defectors. 

These are the Republicans who voted against Jordan after having previously supported him, and who they supported this time:

  1. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania: Rep. Patrick McHenry
  2. Thomas Kean Jr. of New Jersey: McCarthy 
  3. Marcus Molinaro of New York: Former Rep. Lee Zeldin

These are the Republicans who had previously voted against Jordan and did again, with who they voted for in the third round: 

  1. Don Bacon of Nebraska: McHenry
  2. Vern Buchanan of Florida: Rep. Byron Donalds 
  3. Ken Buck of Colorado: for Rep. Tom Emmer
  4. Lori Chavez-DeRemer of Oregon: McHenry 
  5. Anthony D'Esposito of New York: Zeldin
  6. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida: Majority Leader Steve Scalise 
  7. Jake Ellzey of Texas: Rep. Mike Garcia 
  8. Drew Ferguson of Georgia: Scalise 
  9. Andrew Garbarino of New York: Zeldin
  10. Carlos Giménez of Florida: McCarthy 
  11. Tony Gonzales of Texas: Scalise 
  12. Kay Granger of Texas: Scalise 
  13. John James of Michigan: Donalds 
  14. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania: Scalise 
  15. Jennifer Kiggins of Virginia: McHenry 
  16. Nick LaLota of New York: Zeldin
  17. Mike Lawler of New York: McHenry 
  18. Mariannette Miller-Meeks: McHenry
  19. John Rutherford of Florida: Scalise 
  20. Michael Simpson of Idaho: Scalise 
  21. Pete Stauber of Minnesota: Rep. Bruce Westerman 
  22. Steve Womack of Arkansas: Scalise
By Kathryn Watson

What happens now after Jordan's third loss?

Rep. Jim Jordan watches as the House votes for a third time on whether to elect him speaker of the House on Oct. 20, 2023.
Rep. Jim Jordan watches as the House votes for a third time on whether to elect him speaker of the House on Oct. 20, 2023. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The short answer is nobody really knows.

The somewhat longer answer is that Republicans are meeting on Capitol Hill at 1 p.m. to chart a path forward. Jordan's options remain essentially the same as they were before the vote. With his support eroding, he could drop out of the race and Republicans could go back to square one to find a new nominee. Or he could keep running, and keep trying to convince his detractors that they should support him.

The latter approach has not been successful so far, and there are no signs that his holdouts would be willing to come to his side. They have given no indication that they even have demands that Jordan could meet — in fact, they reportedly told him in a meeting on Thursday that they would never support him, regardless of what he may offer.

Jordan said Friday morning that he aimed to elect a speaker this weekend, and his next move will clarify whether he intends to go through with that plan.

By Stefan Becket

Jordan loses third round, with 25 GOP defections

Jordan fell short yet again when the final tally was read aloud on the floor. He won 194 votes, compared to 210 for Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries. Twenty-five Republicans voted for various other candidates, including McCarthy, Majority Leader Steve Scalise and Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry.

Here are the vote totals:

  • Jeffries: 210
  • Jordan: 194
  • Scalise: 8
  • McHenry: 6
  • Former Rep. Lee Zeldin: 4
  • McCarthy: 2
  • Rep. Byron Donalds: 2
  • Rep. Tom Emmer: 1
  • Rep. Mike Garcia: 1
  • Rep. Bruce Westerman: 1
By Stefan Becket

Jordan on track to lose in third round of voting

Jordan lost five Republicans before the House, voting alphabetically, reached the names beginning with "F," placing him on the path of losing a third round of votes for speaker. 

Republicans who voted against him early in the round included Reps. Don Bacon, Vern Buchanan, Rep. Ken Buck, Lori Chavez-DeRemer and Anthony D'Esposito, all of whom voted against Jordan in earlier votes.

By Kathryn Watson

Third round of voting gets underway

The third round of voting for House speaker is now underway. Each member will have his or her name called aloud in alphabetical order and rise to declare their choice.

By Stefan Becket

McCarthy nominates Jordan ahead of third round of voting

Former U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy nominates Rep. Jim Jordan for speaker of the House on Oct. 20, 2023.
Former U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy nominates Rep. Jim Jordan for speaker of the House on Oct. 20, 2023. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Rep. Kevin McCarthy nominated Jim Jordan, the man trying to win his old job. 

"I rise to nominate Jim Jordan for the speaker of the House," McCarthy said to scattered applause.

McCarthy called Jordan "an effective legislator," even though Jordan hasn't passed a single bill he authored. McCarthy's comments prompted some snide responses from the floor. 

"To legislate is about more than the name on the bill," McCarthy said, insisting Jordan has helped push critical legislation by others across the finish line. 

McCarthy called Jordan "one of the most selfless members I know." 

Rep. Katherine Clark, the House minority whip, rose to nominate Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic leader. 

"Their nominee's vision is a direct attack on the freedom and the rights of the American people," Clark said of Jordan. 

Clark blasted Jordan's record on abortion and health care votes, and said Jordan "traffics" in disinformation. She said it's not too late for the majority to choose a "bipartisan path forward to reopen the House."

"Every day the majority chooses to engage in a Republican civil war that is threatening their own members instead of engaging with us in the work of the American people is a day that weakens this institution in the standing of our country," she said. 

The House then began its third round of voting for a speaker, with Republicans who opposed Jordan earlier this week largely appearing unmoved. 

Jordan needs 214 votes in order to become speaker. In the last vote, he only received 199. 

By Kathryn Watson

House records attendance, with 427 members present

The House's first order of business Friday, as it has been on days with votes in the past, was to record how many members are in attendance, in what's known as a quorum call. 

The final tally showed 427 members present. That would mean 214 votes are needed for a majority, assuming none of those absent make it to the floor in time to vote.

One Republican member explained his absence ahead of the session. Rep. Derrick Van Orden, a freshman Republican member from Wisconsin, left Washington on Thursday for what he called a fact-finding mission in Israel. 

"After retiring from the military in 2014, I made a solemn promise to the Jewish people that if anything like what took place on October 7, 2023, were to ever happen, that I would help them and their nation to the best of my ability," Van Orden told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I am keeping that promise."

By Kathryn Watson

Jordan says "there were all kinds of problems with the 2020 election"

Jordan, who has been dubbed an election denier by some of his Republican House colleagues, again cast doubt on the results of the 2020 presidential election during his press conference Friday morning. 

A reporter asked Jordan point-blank if he believes the 2020 presidential election was stolen. 

"I think there were all kinds of problems with the 2020 election. I've been clear about that," Jordan responded. 

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol said in its final report that Jordan was "a significant player" in former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, noting that he attended "numerous post-election meetings" with senior White House officials and Trump allies about how to challenge the election. The report also said that on Jan. 2, 2021, Jordan led a conference call with Trump and other lawmakers that raised the idea of "issuing social media posts encouraging President Trump's supporters to 'march to the Capitol' on the 6th."

By Kathryn Watson

Jordan says "our plan this weekend is to get a speaker elected"

In a press conference Friday morning, two hours before the third ballot for speaker, Jordan said the House needs to be open to "get to work for the American people." The Ohio Republican signaled he is not dropping out of the race.

"Our plan this weekend is to get a speaker elected to the House of Representatives as soon as possible," Jordan told reporters.

Asked if he intends to take roll-call vote after roll-call vote until there's a speaker, Jordan responded, "Look, there's been multiple rounds of votes for speaker before — we all know that," a reference to Rep. Kevin McCarthy's 15 ballots to win the speakership.

But Jordan offered no roadmap Friday morning showing his path to 217 votes, the number of Republican votes he needs if all members vote for a candidate. His detractors appeared unswayed after a meeting with Jordan Thursday.

"We had a good conversation, we'll continue to do that," Jordan said in response to a question about whether he'd converted any of them.  

The speaker designee made the case that the House has important work to do, like passing more funding for Israel. Jordan said the House can't properly evaluate the request President Biden is sending to Congress for aid to Ukraine and Israel if it's not open, and the House can't be open without a speaker. 

"In short, we need to get to work for the American people," he said. 

By Kathryn Watson

Jordan GOP holdouts receive new threats

GOP Reps. Nick LaLota, of New York, and Ken Buck, of Colorado, both tell CBS News they've received new threats — including death threats. Rep. Drew Ferguson, of Georgia, said there have been death threats against his family ,and Rep. Marianette Miller-Meeks, of Iowa, posted about credible threats targeting her after she voted for Rep. Kay Granger, of Texas, in the second speaker ballot.

LaLota wouldn't ascribe blame to any pressure campaign by Jordan's surrogates or conservative media champions. He said the threats are likely the byproduct of "extremists" who are "disgruntled" in a politically toxic environment.  

But Buck said Jordan isn't doing enough about it and should do more to tamp down these threats. 

Jordan has disavowed the targeting and threats against GOP lawmakers.

By Scott MacFarlane

Plan to empower interim speaker jettisoned

Jordan told colleagues Thursday he would support a proposal to allow Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry to oversee the House until January, while he remained in the race and tried to muster support.

But that idea was met with stiff opposition from dozens of GOP lawmakers and Jordan soon backtracked, saying he would instead move forward with more floor votes. 

"We made the pitch to members on the resolution as a way to lower the temperature and get back to work. We decided that wasn't where we're going to go," he told reporters. 

Ellis Kim contributed.

By Nikole Killion

What happened in the second round of voting?

In the second ballot, Jordan lost more ground than he gained, winning 199 votes, compared to the 200 he won on the first ballot. Twenty-two Republicans voted against him

The House is now in its third week without a leader as Republicans' path forward remained unclear. GOP Rep. Ken Buck, who opposed Jordan in both ballots, predicted that Jordan "bleeds three or four votes" if there are more rounds of voting ahead. "More and more members are going to be able to say, 'I voted for him the first two times, now we have to move on,'" Buck told CBS News' Major Garrett Wednesday on "The Takeout" podcast.

But Jordan seemed to suggest Wednesday after he lost the second ballot that it was just a matter of time — possibly months — before his numbers turned around.

"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, referring to the time between the GOP conference vote to nominate McCarthy after the November 2022 midterm elections and the House floor vote at the start of the new Congress in January 2023.


Jordan's first-round defeat

Jordan lost the support of 20 of his fellow Republicans in his first attempt at the speakership, winning 200 votes and falling short of the 217 needed to prevail. Democrats nominated Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, who received 212 votes. 

"We're going to keep working, and we're going to get to the votes," he said afterward.

Six Republicans voted for former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted on Oct. 3. Several others voted for Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who withdrew his name from consideration last week, and former Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Trump ally who didn't run for reelection in 2022 when he ran for governor in New York.

Jordan said earlier that voting would continue "until we get a speaker." He and his allies had hoped to wrap up the process by the end of the day to avoid a marathon of votes like those required to elect McCarthy in January. That election took 15 rounds of voting over four days before he was finally elected


Tempers flare in GOP conference meeting as opposition to McHenry plan grows

Tensions came to a head in Thursday's meeting of the House GOP conference, and several Republicans leaving the meeting voiced their opposition to the plan to elevate McHenry in lieu of a permanent speaker. 

After about three hours, those exiting the room described the tone as "angry," with Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher muttering to reporters that he was heading to a chapel to get a rosary. 

Rep. Matt Gaetz, who was behind McCarthy's ouster earlier this month, confirmed he had a verbal confrontation with the former speaker during the meeting. Gaetz said McCarthy's "passions are a little inflamed."

"I think he's working through the stages of grief, and might be at the anger part," Gaetz said. 

The Florida Republican was asked about reports that Rep. Michael Bost lunged at him during the meeting. Gaetz said he didn't know if he would describe it as a lunge, but said Bost was pretty angry. 

Gaetz said he expressed that having a "speaker-lite" is a bad idea, referring to McHenry, and he's still supporting Jordan.

Multiple members said they opposed the idea of giving McHenry more power as the speaker drama plays out, with several telling CBS News that the proposal "is dead" and "will not come to the floor."

— Nikole Killion and Kathryn Watson

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