Jim “Gym” Jordan made history yesterday when he received just 199 votes from members of his own party in his hopeless quest to be the next Speaker of the House.
It marked the first time in a century that a person from the House’s majority party got less than 200 votes in a bid for speakership. 22 Republicans voted against the 59-year-old former college wrestling coach yesterday, up from 20 who voted against him on Tuesday.
Usually, the magic number needed to clinch the speakership is 218, a simple majority of the 435 members in the House. But in the 118th Congress, the number is 217.
That means, even with the bar lowered, Jordan still fell short.
Per Meidas Touch:
The last time this happened was in 1923 when Massachusetts Republican Frederick Gillett received 197 votes from the majority GOP on the first ballot. Unlike Jim Jordan, however, Gillett went on to win the gavel on the ninth ballot, something that looks increasingly unlikely for Jordan.
After a sex abuse scandal, complicity in an insurrection to overthrow the United States Government, and failing to pass a single piece of legislation in his 16 years in Congress and being labeled a “legislative terrorist” by former speaker John Boehner, Jim Jordan seems poised for infamy as one of the biggest Speaker flops in U.S. history.
After his historic loss yesterday, it looked like Jordan would make history again today when a third vote to NOT elect him as House Speaker was scheduled for noon, but this morning he said he was putting his efforts on “pause” amid reports the number of Republicans opposing him had ballooned to almost 30, eight more than yesterday, and 10 more than on Tuesday.
The Washington Post reports:
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) will not seek an additional speaker vote Thursday, and he will back a plan to give Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (R-N.C.), the temporary speaker, additional powers, according to multiple people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the plan. After two rounds of votes, a group of Republicans had made clear that Jordan did not have enough support to win the speaker’s gavel. With House functions at a standstill, lawmakers can now move forward on a proposal to expand McHenry’s powers.
The chaos that has engulfed the House is primarily the fault of anti-LGBTQ+ Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, who led the initial charge to oust Kevin McCarthy from the speakership earlier this month without having any plan in place for what to do next. As a result, Congress has been unable to get anything done, as another government shutdown looms and the crisis in the Middle East worsens.
Since then, Gaetz has become persona non grata not only among his GOP colleagues, but also among a growing number of his constituents back home. “He’s a dirtbag person,” a voter who lives in Fort Walton Beach, Florida told CBS News last week.
Gaetz further embarrassed himself this week when he sent out a fundraising email ripping colleagues who refuse to support Jordan, calling them “RINOs,” and accusing them of “working with RADICAL DEMOCRATS like AOC, ILHAN OMAR and RASHIDA TLAIB to BLOCK JIM JORDAN FROM BECOMING SPEAKER!!!”
Republican New York Rep. Mike Lawler, who previously called Gaetz a “vile person,” quickly responded by reminding everyone that the accused sexual predator worked hand-in-hand with those very “radical Democrats” to kill McCarthy’s political career.
Gaetz later walked back the fundraising memo, saying it was blasted out by accident. “This email was sent by a vendor without my team’s approval. It should not have been sent,” he tweeted.
With Jordan no longer in the running for House Speaker, it’s unclear who Republicans might put forth next. But whoever it is faces an exhausting uphill battle, and a thankless job if and when they finally clinch that golden gavel.
While you’re here, check out what Nancy Pelosi had to say about the whole mess while on her way to enjoy a salad for lunch…