The House is deadlocked with no end in sight to the Republican leadership crisis as GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio continues his bid for speaker despite facing stiff opposition.
The Ohio Republican, who has made a name for himself as a hardline conservative rebel, has vowed to stay in the race despite losing two votes so far. Although no vote has yet been officially scheduled, the House may hold a third vote for Speaker as early as Thursday afternoon.
Multiple GOP sources told CNN that Jordan is bleeding votes and is poised to lose even more Republicans if he goes on a third ballot. A GOP opponent says about 30 GOP votes were absent as of Thursday morning.
Tensions are rising among House Republicans, and pressure is mounting to find a way to resolve the standoff. In a sign of growing opposition to his candidacy, Jordan fared worse in Wednesday’s second round of voting than in the first poll a day earlier.
After Wednesday’s failed speakership vote, many Republicans opposed to Jordan made it clear they would not be swayed, and some expressed outrage at what they described as a pressure campaign against them by Jordanian allies.
The House is effectively deadlocked as Republicans fail to coalesce around a viable replacement for Kevin McCarthy after the former speaker was ousted by conservative hardliners in a historic vote.
Now, more moderate and mainstream Republicans are digging in, some worried that a conservative firebrand like Jordan could become speaker, and some angry about the role hard-liners played in ousting McCarthy and opposing House Majority Leader Steve Scalise’s bid for speakership. .
As it seems uncertain that any candidate can win 217 votes, some Republicans are the GOP representative of North Carolina, who is an interim speaker. They are trying to expand Patrick McHenry’s powers. But such a move would be controversial and has divided Republicans.
During the first round of voting, 20 House Republicans voted against Jordan. In the second round, that number rose to 22. There were four new Republican votes against Jordan, two flipped on his column.
Given the narrow House GOP majority, Jordan can only lose by a few votes and the overwhelming number of votes cast against him so far is far from a victory.
If Jordan withdraws, other candidates may jump into the race. Among those considering a run: Representatives from Texas. Jody Arrington, Michigan’s Jack Bergman and Louisiana’s Mike Johnson, according to GOP sources. But all of them will struggle to get 217 votes.
Jordan is a polarizing figure in the speaker’s fray. He is a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump and helped found the House Freedom Caucus. As chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee, he has also been a key figure in House GOP-led investigations.
His struggle to win cover highlights the limits of Trump’s influence in the speakership race, after endorsing former president Jordan.
McCarthy was able to win the void by 15 rounds of voting in January.
Some Republicans, however, have argued that the current race should not last much longer as the House is now without a Speaker in an unprecedented situation.
A fast-approaching government shutdown deadline and unfolding conflicts abroad have fueled calls for a quick end to the Republican leadership vacuum.
This story has been updated with additional updates.