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Jordan is no longer nominee for House speaker after a secret vote

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks to the media as he leaves a closed-door House Republican meeting at the U.S. Capitol on Friday.
Anna Moneymaker
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U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks to the media as he leaves a closed-door House Republican meeting at the U.S. Capitol on Friday.

Updated October 20, 2023 at 3:09 PM ET

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, has lost a secret vote to remain his party's nominee for House speaker, several Republican lawmakers told reporters.

Jordan lost the ballot by 86-112, Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., said. She added that Republicans will leave town for the weekend, and members have until noon on Sunday to declare their candidacy. A candidate forum is expected Monday.

The secret ballot came after House Republicans rejected Jordan's bid on the floor Friday for a third time – this time by a bigger margin. Opposition to Jordan's nomination grew from 20 GOP defections earlier this week to 22 and finally 25.

After the referendum Friday, Jordan told reporters that Republicans "need to come together" and unite around a candidate.

"Let's figure out who that individual is, get behind him and get to work for the American people," Jordan said in brief remarks.

Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, for one, told reporters he will be running for speaker.

How the opposition to Jordan grew

To clinch the speakership, a nominee needs support from virtually every House Republican.

Jordan met Thursday with the Republicans who voted against him on the two previous ballots, but Rep. Carlos Giménez, R-Fla., was one of several members who left the meeting under the impression that nobody had changed their minds.

"It was productive, but it did not change my mind," Giménez told reporters. "I'm not voting for Jordan."

Many members have complained that Jordan and his supporters have bullied and threatened members, their staffs and families. Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., told reporters on Thursday that he and his wife have continued to receive threats and fear for their safety.

"I didn't sleep well last night," he said. "I called her and I go, 'How you doing?' She said, 'I slept really good. I had a loaded gun.' ... It was ugly phone calls."

Rep. Jen Kiggans, R-Va., was one of at least two members who reported receiving credible death threats.

The process has left members angry and frustrated. Many have told reporters they fear that nobody can win sufficient support from Republicans to be elected speaker.

The impasse has persisted even under the increasing threat of a government shutdown if Congress does not pass a spending bill by Nov. 17. President Biden is also sending a new request for money to address the wars in Ukraine and Israel on Friday.

The House remains unable to conduct any business without an elected speaker.

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Kelsey Snell is a Congressional correspondent for NPR. She has covered Congress since 2010 for outlets including The Washington Post, Politico and National Journal. She has covered elections and Congress with a reporting specialty in budget, tax and economic policy. She has a graduate degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. and an undergraduate degree in political science from DePaul University in Chicago.
Lexie Schapitl is a production assistant with NPR's Washington Desk, where she produces radio pieces and digital content. She also reports from the field and assists with production of the NPR Politics Podcast.