WASHINGTON — Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) fell short of becoming the 56th speaker of the House on Tuesday as dysfunction rules among Republicans.
A small faction of moderate Republicans opposed Jordan, but the controversial Ohio Republican will try to shrink their ranks while making the House vote again on his candidacy.
It took ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) 15 ballots to win the speaker’s gavel in January — though he started with what appeared to be a much stronger base of support than Jordan has.
From his spot as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee this year, Jordan has done more to defend than any other Republican in Congress, running a series of hearings decrying the supposed “weaponization of government” against the former president, who faces multiple criminal indictments.
Jordan was also closely involved in Trump’s efforts to undo the 2020 presidential election result, parroting his lies about election fraud and voting to object to certifying Joe Biden’s victory even after a mob stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Only a handful of Republicans publicly complained about Jordan’s entanglement with the former president; more complained that Jordan undercut his colleague Steve Scalise (R-La.), who had defeated Jordan in an internal party vote for the speaker nomination last week but withdrew from the contest one day later.
Jordan became Republicans’ speaker nominee on Friday, and over the weekend his allies, including Fox News host and Republican strategist Sean Hannity, pressured the holdouts.
Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) explained the incentive for moderates to vote for Jordan even if they don’t like him.
“He’s the best person to keep us out of a government shutdown and the best person to keep conservative media off our backs as we face a shutdown,” Armstrong told the Washington Post on Monday.