Skip to Content

Jordan presses ahead with speaker fight despite growing pressure to drop out

Originally Published: 20 OCT 23 05:06 ET

Updated: 20 OCT 23 08:45 ET

By Clare Foran, Melanie Zanona, Haley Talbot and Annie Grayer, CNN

(CNN) — Republican Rep. Jim Jordan is pressing ahead with his speaker bid despite facing stiff opposition from within his own party and no clear path to win the gavel.

The House, now going on 17 days without a speaker, is gearing up for another showdown on the floor Friday with a third speaker vote expected.

Although Jordan presently lacks the 217 votes needed to secure the speakership, he struck a defiant tone during a news conference Friday morning and made it clear he has no plans to abandon his bid.

“We need to get to work for the American people. We need to do what we said we were going to do, we need to do what we told them we were going to do when they elected us and put us in office, and frankly, we can’t do that if the House isn’t open. We can’t open the House until we get a speaker,” Jordan said.

“The quickest way to get all this working is to get a speaker elected. That’s what I hope we can do today,” he added.

Jordan lost two votes earlier this week for speakership, with more Republicans opposing him in the second vote than the first. When pressed by CNN’s Lauren Fox on Friday for specifics about how many rounds he plans to go, Jordan said, “The plan this weekend is to get a speaker elected to the House of Representatives as soon as possible.”

Opposition to the Ohio Republican, however, continues to grow despite his efforts to flip holdouts over the last couple days, according to multiple Republican members who oppose his nomination. He lost 22 Republicans on the second ballot and one Republican predicted he could lose around 29 on the third ballot Friday morning.

In an effort to inject some life back into his flailing bid, three sources told CNN he has made some progress with a small bloc of holdouts: New York Republicans. Unlike the other holdouts, the New Yorkers have specific asks and priorities that are pertinent to their districts, such as the state and local tax deduction.

But others are opposed to Jordan based on principle and are dug in as threats against them continue – a sign of the uphill climb he is still facing. Jordan met with holdouts on Thursday only for several to emerge from the meeting saying their minds had not been changed.

Some Republicans who oppose Jordan have decried what they described as a pressure campaign against them by allies of the Ohio Republican. And several Republicans who opposed Jordan’s speakership bid have said they experienced angry calls, menacing messages and even death threats since casting their votes. Jordan has condemned the threats.

A closed-door House GOP conference meeting on Thursday turned heated, multiple sources told CNN. Some members encouraged Jordan to drop out of the race. There was also an emotional discussion over the threats some Jordan holdouts are facing. Later, members leaving the meeting described it as an airing of grievances with tensions running high.

The House remains effectively frozen as long as there is no elected speaker – a perilous situation as Congress faces an impending government funding deadline and the threat of a shutdown.

The speaker vacuum triggered by the historic ouster of Kevin McCarthy led by a bloc of hardline conservatives also comes as Israel is at war with Hamas and Ukraine fights a war against Russian aggression.

The battle for the speakership has now dragged on for more than two weeks with no end in sight.

Some Republicans looking for a way to break the impasse have suggested expanding the powers of interim Speaker Rep. Patrick McHenry – a controversial move that would put the House even further into uncharted territory. But there is widespread opposition within the Republican conference to the idea.

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

CNN Newsource


KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content