WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives has been without a speaker for 17 days and after three speaker votes this week, 435 members of Congress are still left without leadership.
Today was the third round of voting for the Republicans’ nominee Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). However, only 194 representatives supported Jordan on the third vote — his lowest tally yet — and a far cry from the 215 votes necessary to win. The House subsequently recessed and Jordan lost an internal Republican conference vote to continue as the party’s nominee.
Jordan’s failed bid for speaker of the House comes after a faction of the Republican conference led an ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) resulting in GOP-induced paralysis on the House floor. Jordan won the GOP nomination for speaker just one week ago, after previously losing a vote to Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.).
Though Jordan has failed to secure the speakership, his failed nomination is a sign of the Republican Party’s ill-health and its embrace of the far-right post-Trump.
As one of the most extreme Republicans in the House and a close ally to former President Donald Trump, Jordan has a history of election denialism and was one of the key architects of an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election on Jan. 6, 2021.
Even before Election Day in 2020, Jordan baselessly suggested that Democrats were trying to steal the election. Then, just two days after the November election, he headlined a “Stop the Steal” rally in Pennsylvania, decrying voter fraud in the Keystone State. He subsequently called for a congressional investigation into the results of the election and claimed he didn’t “know how you can ever convince” him “that President Trump didn’t actually win this thing based on all the things you see.”
Jordan also signed a “friend-of-the-court” brief, along with more than 100 other House Republicans, in support of a lawsuit seeking to overturn the results of the election in four battleground states. Their request was ultimately denied by the U.S. Supreme Court.
But while numerous House Republican lawmakers stoked baseless fears of election fraud through irresponsible rhetoric following the 2020 election, Jordan took especially egregious actions that far surpassed the vast majority of his colleagues.
According to the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 Attack, which described Jordan as a “significant player” in Trump’s attempt to overturn the election, Jordan began scheming to overturn the election at least as early as November 2020, discussing Pence’s ceremonial role of counting the electoral votes.
In December 2020, he and nine other lawmakers met with Trump at the White House to discuss their subversion plans. These plans escalated on Jan. 2, 2021, when Jordan led a conference call with Trump and others to discuss strategies to delay the certification of the electoral votes. Included in this call was a discussion over using social media to encourage Trump supporters to “march to the Capitol” on Jan. 6.
The day before Jan. 6, as Trump grew especially desperate to overturn the results, Jordan acted accordingly. He advised former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows via text on how former Vice President Mike Pence could “call out all the electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional.” Jordan also spoke with Trump on the day of the insurrection at least twice.
Even the violent insurrection wasn’t enough to subdue Jordan’s efforts. He voted to overturn the results after the assault on the U.S. Capitol, defied a congressional subpoena and was one of Trump’s fiercest defenders in his impeachment trial over the insurrection.
And as if Jordan’s election subversion was not disqualifying enough, he has voted against legislation that would expand voting rights every time he has had the chance. Beyond obstructing much-needed voting reforms, Jordan — who is now tasked with leading the People’s House — has never sponsored and passed a single bill in his 16 years in Congress.
Today, the United States avoided a House led by an election denier, however, it does not bode well for what may come next if Jordan was thought to be a viable candidate. A candidate forum will be held on Monday at 6:30 p.m. EDT to determine who the Republicans will nominate next.