The first vote for the House speaker on Tuesday revealed deep divisions within the Republican Party, as 20 GOP lawmakers voted against their conference’s nominee, Jim Jordan of Ohio.
Jordan, a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump and a founding member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, failed to secure the 217 votes he needed to win the position, receiving only 200 votes from his colleagues.
The 20 Republicans who voted against Jordan or chose other candidates represented a diverse group of moderates, establishment figures and Trump critics, who expressed various concerns about Jordan’s suitability for the role.
Some of them, such as Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado and Rep. John James of Michigan, said they wanted a speaker who would acknowledge that Trump lost the 2020 election and condemn the January 6 attack on Congress, which Jordan has been accused of aiding and abetting1.
Others, such as Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska and Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer of Oregon, voted for former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted from the position two weeks ago over his handling of government funding and military aid to Ukraine.
Some also voted for former House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who dropped out of the speaker race last week after failing to garner enough support from his colleagues.
A few Republicans from New York voted for former Rep. Lee Zeldin, who is running for governor in their state, while others voted for their fellow freshmen or members of their state delegations.
One Republican, Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana, voted for Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, a libertarian-leaning lawmaker who often clashes with his party leadership.
The 20 Republicans who voted against Jordan were:
- Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska voted for former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy1
- Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer of Oregon voted for McCarthy
- Rep. Anthony D’Esposito of New York voted for former Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York
- Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida voted for Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana
- Rep. Jake Ellzey of Texas voted for Rep. Mike Garcia of California
- Rep. Andrew Garbarino of New York voted for Zeldin
- Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Florida voted for McCarthy
- Rep. Tony Gonzales of Texas voted for Scalise
- Rep. Kay Granger of Texas voted for Scalise
- Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania voted for Scalise
- Rep. Jennifer Kiggans of Virginia voted for McCarthy
- Rep. Nick LaLota of New York voted for Zeldin
- Rep. Mike Lawler of New York voted for McCarthy
- Rep. John Rutherford of Florida voted for Scalise
- Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho voted for Scalise
- Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas voted for Scalise
- Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado voted for Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota
- Rep. John James of Michigan voted for Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma
- Rep. Doug LaMalfa of California voted for McCarthy
- Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana voted for Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky
Jordan said he hoped to win the speaker position in the second round of voting on Wednesday, but he faced an uphill battle as some Republicans said they would not change their minds unless he addressed their concerns.
Jordan also faced criticism from Democrats, who said he was unfit to lead the House and accused him of undermining democracy and the rule of law.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic nominee for speaker, said he was ready to work with whoever becomes the speaker to address the challenges facing the country and the world.