House speaker: Jim Jordan will seek third vote after effort to empower interim speaker collapses

Rep. Jim Jordan

Rep. Jim Jordan will keep working to shore up support for his speakership bid after Republicans rejected a proposal to give the House’s temporary speaker the power to carry out legislative business, the Ohio Republican said Thursday.

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Jordan asked members of his party to empower Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., to allow the chamber to continue work after he failed to win enough votes to take the speaker’s gavel on Tuesday and Wednesday. However, he told reporters that Republicans decided not to move forward with a resolution.

Jordan reiterated Thursday that he plans to stay in the race. It was not immediately clear when the House would vote again.

Republicans won’t try to empower McHenry, Jordan confirms

Update 3:20 p.m. EDT Oct. 19: Jordan confirmed to reporters that Republicans in the House will not push to give McHenry legislative powers as temporary House speaker as he continues to vie for the chamber’s top spot.

“We made the pitch to members on the resolution as a way to lower the temperature and get back to work,” he said. “We decided that wasn’t where we’re going to go.”

Jordan had sought to empower McHenry until Jan. 3 to give himself time to drum up more support for his speakership bid, The New York Times reported.

Jordan says he’s still running for speaker

Update 3:15 p.m. EDT Oct. 19: Jordan told reporters on Thursday that he is still running to become the next House speaker as Republicans work to find a candidate who they can push past the finish line.

“I’m still running for speaker, and I plan to go to the floor and get the votes and win this race,” he said. “But I want to go talk with a few of my colleagues, particularly I want to talk with the 20 individuals who voted against me, so that we can move forward and begin to work for the American people.”

Jordan has been working to convince more of his party to choose him for the top spot in the House. He won 200 of the needed 217 votes Tuesday and got 199 votes on Wednesday.

GOP House member says party won’t move ahead with resolution to expand McHenry’s powers

Update 2:35 p.m. EDT Oct. 19: Rep. Byron Donalds told reporters on Thursday that the House Republican Conference will not move forward with a resolution that would grant McHenry more power as the party works to agree on who should be the chamber’s next speaker, CNN reported.

“It’s not going to happen,” Donalds said, according to CNN. “That is the decision, as I understand it, and I think even Patrick, to his credit and to his fidelity to the US Constitution, understands that we cannot just drop powers in the lap of somebody. The House has to elect the speaker. And then from that, everything else flows.”

Earlier, lawmakers coming out of the GOP’s three-hour meeting told The Washington Post that Republicans were still considering an expansion of McHenry’s powers.

As the House’s temporary speaker, McHenry’s main role is to oversee an election for a new permanent speaker, according to The New York Times.

House goes into recess

Update 12:15 p.m. EDT Oct. 19: The House was called into session on Thursday afternoon and soon after went into recess as lawmakers continue working to pick a new speaker.

Original report: In a secret ballot on Friday, the Republican Party chose Jordan as its nominee for speaker, but the Ohio Republican struggled to clinch the 217 votes needed to take up the speaker’s gavel. On Tuesday, he won 200 votes. His support waned slightly on Wednesday, with 199 Republicans backing him.

The Democrats’ nominee, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, got all 212 votes from his party members on both days of voting.

Republicans, who make up a majority of the House, have struggled to unite behind a new speaker after several party members joined Democrats to remove Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., from the House’s top post. On Oct. 3, the chamber voted 216-210 to remove McCarthy 10 months after he secured the position.

McCarthy had failed 14 times to gain enough support to take on the role before winning in the 15th round of voting.

Jordan became the GOP’s pick for speaker one day after Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., dropped his bid for the speakership due to a lack of support.

The House is scheduled to meet at noon on Thursday.

Check back for more on this developing story.

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