Jim Jordan to have third try at becoming US House speaker

The hardline Republican supported by Donald Trump lost ground on Wednesday after a second vote

Jim Jordan will seek the chamber's approval for the third day in a row. Getty Images
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Outspoken Republican Jim Jordan may hold a third ballot to become speaker of the US House of Representatives, it was reported on Thursday.

"I'm still running for speaker and I plan to go to the floor and get the votes and win this race," Mr Jordan told Reuters and other outlets.

Earlier, he said he would pause his bid and called for an extension to the authority of Representative Patrick McHenry, who has been acting speaker since October 3, when a small group of Republican members removed Kevin McCarthy.

But many Republicans objected to that proposal.

It is not clear how much support Mr Jordan has, so he could win the speakership on another ballot attempt. The House adjourned on Thursday night with a possible vote as early as 10am on Friday.

Mr Jordan, who tried to help Donald Trump overturn the 2020 election result, had been due to seek the chamber's approval for the third day in a row, after twice failing to secure the necessary 217 votes from his fellow Republicans.

Despite strong endorsements from Mr Trump, Mr Jordan had been losing support.

On Wednesday, 22 Republicans voted against him, two more than the first vote a day earlier.

CNN reported that Mr Jordan is not dropping out of the speakership race altogether, but is leaning towards giving more power to Mr McHenry, who is filling the speaker's chair on a temporary basis.

Having no speaker means the House cannot debate legislation and urgent items require attention, including averting a potential government shutdown in less than a month and authorising more funds for Ukraine and Israel.

The prolonged leadership battle has outlined divisions among Republicans who control the chamber by a narrow 221-212 margin.

On October 3, a small group of Republicans removed Kevin McCarthy from the speaker's chair.

The chamber's number two Republican, Steve Scalise, dropped his leadership bid last week after he was unable to secure the 217 votes.

The chamber's top Democrat, Hakeem Jeffries, said his caucus would not support any leadership plan that involved Mr Jordan taking the gavel.

“That bipartisan path cannot be Jim Jordan, who's a poster child for Maga extremism and a clear and present danger to our democracy,” Mr Jeffries said, referring to Mr Trump's “Make America Great Again” slogan.

Updated: October 20, 2023, 1:23 AM