Jim Jordan fails to win House speakership on first ballot

By Mike Hayes, Elise Hammond, Tori B. Powell, Jack Forrest and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 1:16 PM ET, Wed October 18, 2023
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2:52 p.m. ET, October 17, 2023

Jordan ally: "This is much worse than we expected"

From CNN's Dana Bash, Lauren Fox and Jeremy Herb

Rep. Jim Jordan stands and talks with Republican House Whip Rep. Tom Emmer as they discuss the tally of the first round of voting, as the House votes for a new speaker, at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.
Rep. Jim Jordan stands and talks with Republican House Whip Rep. Tom Emmer as they discuss the tally of the first round of voting, as the House votes for a new speaker, at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Tuesday. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

An ally of Rep. Jim Jordan said "This is much worse than we expected."

Jordan failed to win the speakership on the first vote.

He earned 200 votes while House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries won 212 votes. Twenty Republicans appear to have voted against Jordan.

Rep. Dan Meuser, another GOP ally of Jordan, said the conference needs to get it together and just elect Jordan and stop dragging this out. 

"Wake up and stop this nonsense. There’s real serious work to be done," he said. 

He said he's tired of McCarthy and Scalise allies standing in the way. 

"So what, so that was done, there were 8 that created all kinds of destruction. Why are we going to prolong these setbacks? I had a couple say that to me now, 'we didn’t start this.' I don’t know, I haven’t heard that since the playground."

Asked what comes next, he didn't know how Jordan would proceed and if he'd try for another vote tonight. 

"We’ll see what the math says, we’ll see what progress can be made over the next couple of hours. I just had some brief discussions but pretty direct and relatively strong with a couple of members. And maybe they come around. We’ve got to understand , we’ve got to operate as a team, because if we don’t we will lose everything and continue the disarray and lose appropriations and just continue to muddle through and have things get worse," Meuser said. 
1:53 p.m. ET, October 17, 2023

Key appropriations Republican did not vote for Jordan, highlighting GOP spending concerns

In this 2019 photo, Rep. Rep. Kay Granger departs a meeting with U.S. House-Senate conferees, to receive a closed briefing from U.S. Border Patrol career professionals, who discuss "the challenges they face protecting the U.S.-Mexico border," at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.
In this 2019 photo, Rep. Rep. Kay Granger departs a meeting with U.S. House-Senate conferees, to receive a closed briefing from U.S. Border Patrol career professionals, who discuss "the challenges they face protecting the U.S.-Mexico border," at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Mary F. Calvert/Reuters

Rep. Kay Granger, a key Republican on the Appropriations Committee, did not vote for Rep. Jim Jordan for speaker, underscoring concerns some members of the GOP have about spending, a CNN congressional correspondent said.

In trying to get votes for the speakership, Jordan told lawmakers that he had a plan for how he would deal with the upcoming government funding deadline. He told his conference he wanted to use a 1% cut to try to negotiate with the White House to cut spending, CNN’s Lauren Fox said.

Granger not voting for Jordan could signify Jordan’s plan didn’t really work, Fox said in her analysis.

“It's clear that that did not really assuage some of the concerns from Republicans,” Fox said, adding that the 1% could have an effect on military preparations, which could have worried some Republicans.

1:50 p.m. ET, October 17, 2023

20 Republicans appear to have voted against Jim Jordan

Rep. Jim Jordan does not appear to have the votes to win the gavel so far as voting wraps up on the House floor, and 20 Republicans appear to have voted against him.

The vote tally is not final until the gavel comes down.

The Ohio Republican could only afford to lose three GOP votes if every Democrat was present. A candidate needs a majority of the full House to be elected.

1:45 p.m. ET, October 17, 2023

Members who did not vote during the first call are given a second chance to vote

After the initial speaker vote, the clerk called the names of the members who did not answer the first call of the roll. 

Several members still did not vote.

1:56 p.m. ET, October 17, 2023

Former House Speaker McCarthy voted for Jim Jordan

Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy talks with U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan during the first round of voting for a new Speaker of the House on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.
Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy talks with U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan during the first round of voting for a new Speaker of the House on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, on Tuesday. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted as speaker two weeks ago, voted for the member of his party seeking to replace him, Rep. Jim Jordan, during a first round of floor voting Tuesday.

After McCarthy voted for Jordan, scattered applause broke out among GOP members inside the chamber.

Rep. Steve Scalise also voted for Jordan during the first call of the roll. Scalise was initially nominated for speaker by the Republicans after McCarthy's ouster but bowed out when it became apparent that he didn't have the votes to win.

Neither McCarthy nor Scalise are running for speaker at this moment however, several members of the GOP voted for each of them during Tuesday's first round of voting.

Those votes — and others cast by Republicans for people other than Jordan — are currently preventing Jordan from winning the speakership. Jordan — or any other GOP speaker candidate — can only afford to lose three Republican votes if all Democrats are present.

During the vote, McCarthy sat behind Jordan. The pair spoke at one point as it became clear Jordan was not going to get the votes on the first ballot. Both kept their facial expressions pretty much neutral the whole time. 

1:28 p.m. ET, October 17, 2023

Rep. Jim Jordan does not appear to have the votes to win speakership so far

Rep. Jim Jordan listens to nomination speeches for Speaker of the House as the House of Representatives prepares to vote on a new Speaker at the U.S. Capitol Building on October 17, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Rep. Jim Jordan listens to nomination speeches for Speaker of the House as the House of Representatives prepares to vote on a new Speaker at the U.S. Capitol Building on October 17, 2023 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. Jim Jordan does not appear to have the votes to win the gavel so far as voting on the House floor continues.

Jordan — or any other GOP speaker candidate — can only afford to lose three Republican votes if all Democrats are present.

Remember: Members can change their vote until the gavel comes down.

1:18 p.m. ET, October 17, 2023

NOW: The voting for speaker has started

From CNN's Clare Foran, Haley Talbot and Kristin Wilson

Members of the US House of Representatives gather for a vote on the nomination of Representative Jim Jordan, of Ohio, as new Speaker of the House, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on October 17, 2023. 
Members of the US House of Representatives gather for a vote on the nomination of Representative Jim Jordan, of Ohio, as new Speaker of the House, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on October 17, 2023.  Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The House is now starting its first round of voting to elect a speaker.

The GOP has nominated Rep. Jim Jordan and the Democrats have nominated Rep. Hakeem Jeffries for speaker.

Voting will be done verbally with members called by name alphabetically and then stating their choice for speaker. Members can also choose to vote present. If a member doesn’t vote, they will get a chance to vote at the end of the roll call. 

Remember: Members can change their vote until the gavel comes down.

12:45 p.m. ET, October 17, 2023

NOW: House members are nominating speaker candidates

From Haley Talbot and Kristin Wilson

House GOP Chair Elise Stefanik is now speaking, nominating Rep. Jim Jordan as House speaker. 

Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar, chair of the House Democratic Caucus, is expected to nominate House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries for speaker.

1:08 p.m. ET, October 17, 2023

Jordan could start to lose support if he doesn't secure speakership quickly

From CNN's Melanie Zanona

Rep. Jim Jordan, the top contender in the race to be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives, arrives inside the House Chamber prior to the first vote for a new Speaker of the House at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.
Rep. Jim Jordan, the top contender in the race to be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives, arrives inside the House Chamber prior to the first vote for a new Speaker of the House at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Tuesday. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

While some Republicans have agreed to back Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan on the first ballot, they have not all committed to voting for him on multiple rounds in the same way they did for Rep. Kevin McCarthy in January – signaling a potential problem for Jordan if he doesn’t sew up the speakership relatively quickly.

Rep. Mike Garcia told CNN “we’ll see” when asked if he would continue backing Jordan.

“If there’s a breaking point and he’s not making progress,” then some people may start to peel off, Garcia said.

Rep. French Hill, a McCarthy ally, was also non-committal when asked by CNN about how many rounds he would continue vouching for Jordan and mentioned how frustrated he was that Jordan vowed to take this fight to the floor before having 217 votes after saying Rep. Steve Scalise shouldn’t go to the floor until he had it locked up.

Rep. Michael McCaul said on CNN “if it doesn’t work, then we’re kind of back to, alright, maybe we ought to look at Kevin McCarthy again.”

 While Jordan has significantly shrank his opposition over the past few days, some of that support is soft – meaning the risk for Jordan is that he could start to lose support if the race drags on.

But his allies believe that if he can get at least as many supporters as McCarthy did on the first ballot – 201 Republicans – then he will be in good shape to grind it out on the floor.

A source familiar with the matter told CNN that Jordan is willing to go as many ballots as it takes to win.