October 19, 2023
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Congresswoman Jen Kiggans Kevin McCarthy

Pictured: Congresswoman Jen Kiggans and former Speaker of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy.

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan failed again Wednesday on a crucial second ballot to become House speaker, but the hard-fighting ally of Donald Trump showed no signs of dropping out despite losing support from even more of his GOP colleagues.

Next steps were highly uncertain as angry, frustrated Republicans looked at other options. A bipartisan group of lawmakers floated an extraordinary plan — to give the interim speaker pro tempore, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., more power to reopen the immobilized House and temporarily conduct routine business. But that seems doubtful, for now.

Jordan was opposed by 22 Republicans, two more than he lost in first-round voting the day before. Many view the Ohio congressman as too extreme for a central seat of U.S. power and resented the harassing hardball tactics from Jordan’s allies for their votes. One lawmaker said they had received death threats.

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“We’ll keep talking to members, keep working on it,” Jordan, a founding member of the Freedom Caucus, said after the vote.

Congresswoman Jenn Kiggans was among those 22 Republicans who opposed Jordan’s nomination to speaker Wedensday. She released a statement on her Facebook page regarding her vote:

With Republicans in majority control of the House, 221-212, Jordan must pick up most of his GOP foes to win. Wednesday’s tally, with 199 Republicans voting for Jordan and 212 for Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York, left no candidate with a clear majority.

As the rollcall got underway, Jordan lost more than he gained, picking up three backers but adding more detractors.

The holdouts added to a surprisingly large and politically diverse group of 20 Republicans who had rejected Jordan’s nomination the day before.

Jordan’s refusal to concede only further embittered some of the Republicans, who were upset that the party’s first choice, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, was essentially forced to drop his own bid 24 hours after a failed vote last week in large part because Jordan’s backers team refused to give their support.

Bipartisan groups of lawmakers have been floating ways to operate the House by giving greater power to McHenry or another temporary speaker. The House had never ousted its speaker before McCarthy, and McHenry could tap the temporary powers that were created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks to ensure continuity of government.

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