NEW DELHI: The United States House of Representatives failed to elect a new Speaker for the third time as none of the candidates received majority of the votes.
Republican candidate Jim Jordan’s recent vote count in the House Speaker election ties a record set back in 1923. He received 194 votes as the majority nominee, equalling the fewest votes obtained by a nominee since the House had 435 members. Frederick Gillett held this record in 1923, requiring nine ballots to secure his victory.
In a brief press conference on Friday morning , Jordan, a founder of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, who played a leading role in the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election, sought to rally Republicans to gather support for his candidacy. As the process to elect a new House Speaker has now stretched into its 18th day, The Guardian reported.
During the Capitol Hill press conference, Jordan said “The fastest way to get to work for the American people is to elect a speaker so the house can be open and we can get things done.”
He said that he was ready to go through several more rounds of balloting and pointed out that it took the previous Republican Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, 15 rounds to become Speaker.
The Speaker’s seat has remained vacant since a group of hardline Republicans removed McCarthy at the beginning of the month, marking a historic first. With no speaker, the House has been unable to conduct legislative business as wars rage in Europe and the Middle East, a concerning situation, and a government shutdown looms unless a federal funding bill is passed by mid-November.
After two failed votes, even the third ballot did not resolve the deadlock. Several lawmakers have voiced their outrage over aggressive tactics employed by Jordan’s allies to win over their votes, including harassing calls and death threats against lawmakers and their families.
Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks from Iowa, who switched her vote against Jordan on the second ballot after receiving “credible death threats,” said in a statement , “One thing I cannot stomach or support is a bully.”
Republican infighting reached a critical point this week as lawmakers clashed behind closed doors. The dispute involved moderates and institutional pragmatists on one side and the pugnacious chair of the judiciary committee, who a former Republican Speaker once called a “legislative terrorist.”
According to The Guardian, In the closely divided House, Jordan needed the support of almost every Republican in the conference to become Speaker. On Wednesday, 22 Republicans and all Democrats voted against him.
Jordan met with his detractors late on Thursday, characterizing the conversation as “good.” However, it remains evident that he is far from winning the 217 votes needed to become Speaker.
Congressman Mike Lawler, a New York Republican opposed to Jordan, called for the conference to either reinstate McCarthy or empower McHenry following his meeting with Jordan. “We must prove to the American people that we can govern effectively and responsibly or, in 15 months, we’ll be debating who the minority leader is and preparing for Joe Biden’s second inaugural,” he said.

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