The latest on the House speaker fight
- Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is no longer the GOP's speaker nominee. A secret ballot taken in the House caucus this afternoon had 112 ballots cast against him and 86 in favor, sources told NBC News.
- After Jordan's exit, several candidates emerged. At least five lawmakers have announced bids, including Reps. Austin Scott, of Georgia, and Byron Donalds, of Florida. While several others, such as Texas Reps. Jodey Arrington and Roger Williams, are mulling a run.
- Jordan bled support for his candidacy between the first and second rounds of voting this week. His nearly 90-minute meeting yesterday afternoon with 22 Republicans who have voted against him ended with little to no apparent progress.
- The House standstill began after Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida led a small cadre of conservatives in ousting Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as speaker this month.
- The impasse has stymied emergency funding for Israel and Ukraine. President Joe Biden's administration submitted a request for funding, including defense aid to Ukraine, today.
No women have launched a bid for speaker after McCarthy's ousting
After McCarthy was voted out as speaker earlier this month, all of the lawmakers seeking to replace him have been men.
More than half a dozen Republican men have launched or are considering a speaker bid, but no women.
Rep. Kay Granger and former Rep. Candice Miller each received one vote in Wednesday's roll call, but neither is a declared candidate.
GOP to hold speaker candidate forum Monday, vote Tuesday
McHenry announced that there would be a new GOP speaker candidate forum at 6:30 p.m. on Monday evening followed by an internal conference vote at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.
He said the goal is to move to a floor vote as soon as Tuesday.
Jordan expresses gratitude for GOP members after pulling out of speaker’s race
As Jordan was leaving the GOP conference this afternoon, he told reporters that he “appreciated getting to work with everyone” and expressed urgency to unite the party and find a speaker.
“We need to come together and figure out who our speaker is going to be. Going to work as hard as I can to help that individual," Jordan said.
"I’m also going to get back to work," he added. "We've got several depositions lined up next week and work that we need to do for the American people."
Rep. Pete Sessions announces speakership candidacy
Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas is now in the running for speaker.
“Congressman Sessions believes he can forge a positive path as a conservative leader who can unite the Conference. During his congressional career, he has played a vital role in the Republican Party, in Texas and nationally, including a decade in Party leadership,” Sessions wrote in a statement posted on X.
McCarthy backs Emmer
Kevin McCarthy is backing Emmer's bid for speaker.
“He is the right person for the job," McCarthy said. "He can unite the conference. He understands the dynamics of the conference. He also understands what it takes to win and keep a majority."
Byron Donalds, who challenged McCarthy, running for speaker
Rep. Byron Donalds is running for speaker, his spokesperson confirmed.
In January, over a dozen conservative opponents of Kevin McCarthy voted for Donalds, then a little-known conservative, during the first few rounds of voting, temporarily thwarting McCarthy's bid.
Michigan Rep. Jack Bergman says he's running for speaker
Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Mich., has thrown his hat in the ring, joining a growing list of Republicans who are running for speaker after the party dropped Jordan as its nominee.
"I feel confident I can win the votes where others could not. I have no special interests to serve; I’m only in this to do what’s best for our Nation and to steady the ship for the 118th Congress," Bergman said in a statement.
"What we need right now is a Speaker who has experience leading and can put ego aside to work together for the American people. We need a leader who shuns permanent power and recognizes the current crisis of leadership. I’m ready to serve. Together we can end the deadlock, and win the vote," he added.
Rep. Mike Johnson also considering running for speaker
GOP Conference Vice Chair Mike Johnson, R-La., is “making calls” about a potential speaker bid, a source close to Johnson says.
Emmer calling fellow Republicans about a speaker bid
House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., has begun making calls about a speaker bid, according to two sources familiar.
Texas Reps. Jodey Arrington and Roger Williams are considering speaker bids
Rep. Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, told reporters that he’s considering a bid for speaker. He was heard on the phone talking to his wife about his prospects. “What do you think, honey?” he asked his wife.
Arrington said Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, is also contemplating running for speaker. Texas' congressional delegation is the largest among Republicans and the group met Friday morning.
Arrington said it would be a “family discussion” about what is the best path forward.
“It shouldn’t be presumed that anybody in Texas is going to run at this point until we talk as a family of Texans,” Arrington added.
White House spokesperson calls on House GOP to 'end their chaotic infighting'
White House spokesperson Andrew Bates pointed to the difference between Biden pushing for national security legislation and the House's inability to select a speaker.
"While Joe Biden fights to advance bipartisan legislation that will protect our national security interests — including in Israel and Ukraine — provide humanitarian assistance for innocent civilians in Gaza, deliver critical border funding, compete with China, and grow our economy, House Republicans are somehow still fighting with each other," Bates said in a statement.
He continued, calling on the House GOP to "end their chaotic infighting and their competitions to out-extreme one another, and instead join President Biden in working on urgent priorities for American families shared by both parties in Congress.”
Georgia Rep. Austin Scott says he's running for speaker
Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., says he plans to run for speaker and will file paperwork for his candidacy by the end of Friday.
Scott won 81 votes in a secret ballot election against Jordan last week.
McHenry says House GOP will start process over on Monday
House Republicans will hold a candidate forum for speaker on Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET and a closed-door election for speaker on Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET, according to McHenry.
McHenry, who's currently the interim House speaker, told reporters it's "not my intention" to run for the job.
Van Orden explains why he missed vote to be in Israel
Rep. Derrick Van Orden, R-Wis., issued a statement explaining why he missed the speaker vote to be in Israel, saying that he wanted to be there to bear witness and determine what Israelis needed. He also said the current state of Congress was “rudderless and in disarray.”
"After retiring from the military in 2014, I made a solemn promise to the Jewish people that if anything like what took place on October 7, 2023, were to ever happen, that I would help them and their nation to the best of my ability," he wrote. "I am keeping that promise."
He concluded by arguing that his military experience made him "uniquely qualified" to determine the truth on the ground. He said he wanted to "bring that information back to Congress where I can hopefully increase the sense of urgency for my colleagues of both parties to put aside their petty personal and significant political differences and act in the best interest of America and our beleaguered allies."
Oklahoma Rep. Kevin Hern says he'll run for speaker
With Jordan out of the speaker's race, Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., told NBC News after the closed-door House GOP Conference that he plans to run for speaker.
"I'm in," he said when asked if he will launch a bid.
Jordan is 'no longer' the speaker nominee
Jordan is "no longer" the speaker designee within the House Republican Conference, multiple members told NBC News.
This was decided in a secret ballot vote behind closed doors. The vote total was 112 against Jordan remaining the speaker-designate and 86 in favor of him remaining. The ballot question was a direct “yes or no” on whether Jordan should remain. Jordan himself said in the room afterward that he would remove his name and drop out.
Several members said any new candidates must submit their intention to run for speaker by Sunday night ahead of a candidate forum on Monday at 6:30 p.m., with the House aiming toward a vote on Tuesday.
Schumer's office calls on House to 'settle their chaos' and move on foreign aid funding
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., put out a statement praising the White House's national security funding request, which included aid for Ukraine and Israel, and calling on the GOP to "settle their chaos" to move on the request.
“This legislation is too important to wait for the House to settle their chaos," Schumer said. "Senate Democrats will move expeditiously on this request, and we hope that our Republican colleagues across the aisle will join us to pass this much-needed funding.”
GOP members who bucked McCarthy call on colleagues to back Jordan
Seven of the eight Republicans who sought to remove McCarthy as speaker issued a letter to their colleagues, obtained by NBC News, saying they'd be willing to accept punishment from those who think they deserve it if it would persuade holdouts who've refused to vote for Jordan to rally around him.
"Therefore, if the holdouts who refuse to vote for Speaker-Designate Jordan would be willing to 'vote with the team' and elect him the 56th House Speaker, we are prepared to accept censure, suspension, or removal from the Conference to accomplish this objective," the letter said.
The letter, signed by Reps. Andy Biggs, Tim Burchett, Eli Crane, Matt Gaetz, Bob Good, Nancy Mace and Matt Rosendale, said they stand by their actions in moving to oust McCarthy and "understand some in the Conference wish to punish" them.
"We offer this sincerely and with the hope of unity with purpose," the members wrote. "Our fidelity to Republican virtues and principles remains unwaivering."
Rep. Ken Buck's name also was included on a draft of the letter, but his office said he had been included in error.
“It was a mistake and the result of a miscommunication between the congressman and another member," a spokesperson for Buck said. "Congressman Buck had not agreed to sign this letter and his name has since been removed. His position remains unchanged.”
Chart: Republicans who didn’t vote for Jordan in the third round
Steve Scalise got the most votes (eight) from Jordan defectors, all from districts won by Donald Trump in 2020. Patrick McHenry received six, five from districts won by Joe Biden.
DNC spokesperson says GOP must answer for party's 'inability to govern'
DNC spokesperson Sarafina Chitika called out the GOP following the latest failed speaker vote.
“Every Republican must answer for their party’s inability to govern after the House Chaos Caucus failed to elect a speaker for the 17th day in a row," Chitika said. "With a shutdown looming and crisis abroad, how long do House Republicans plan to waste the American people’s time before coming to the adults table and working with Democrats, who stand ready to take action?"
She continued, arguing that the stakes are "too high" for Republicans to continue "its clown show."
House Republicans to meet after failed Jordan vote
Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., said Republicans are planning to huddle behind closed doors at 1 p.m. following the failed speaker vote.
Troy Nehls, who has supported Jordan, says his next vote will be for Trump
Following the vote, Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas was seen smoking a cigar and telling reporters that Jordan “does not have the votes.” Nehls, who supported Jordan in the first three votes, said his fourth vote will be for Trump.
Jordan ties for fewest votes for speaker in 100 years
Jordan just tied the record for the fewest number of votes for a majority nominee since the House was set at 435 members. The last person to get 194 votes as majority nominee was Frederick Gillett in 1923 on his second ballot. It took him nine ballots to win.
Jim Jordan fails on third vote for House speaker after losing more GOP support
A “hodgepodge” of entrenched GOP lawmakers blocked Rep. Jim Jordan from winning the speaker’s gavel for a third time, raising more doubts about whether the Donald Trump-backed candidate can continue in the race.
Womack votes Scalise
Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., voted for Scalise for the third time
Stauber votes Westerman
Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minn., voted for Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., once again.
Simpson votes Scalise again
Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, voted for Scalise for the third time.
Rutherford votes Scalise
Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., voted for Scalise for the third time.
Molinaro flips, votes for Zeldin
Rep. Marc Molinaro flipped his vote to fellow New Yorker Lee Zeldin after voting for Jordan in the first two rounds.
Miller-Meeks votes no on Jordan in favor of McHenry
Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, voted for McHenry. She voted for Jordan in the first round and then Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, in the second.
Kiggans votes against Jordan
Rep. Jen Kiggans, R-Va., voted for McHenry. She voted for McCarthy in the first two rounds.
Lawler votes McHenry
Rep. Mike Lawler, R-N.Y., voted for Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry. He voted for McCarthy in the first two rounds.
LaLota votes against Jordan in favor of Rep. Lee Zeldin
Rep. Nick LaLota, R-N.Y., voted for Lee Zeldin for the third time.
Kean flips on Jordan, votes McCarthy
Tom Kean of New Jersey voted McCarthy, another flip away from Jordan.
Kelly votes against Jordan, choosing Scalise instead
Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., voted for Scalise. He voted for Scalise in the first round and former Speaker John Boehner in the second.
James votes against Jordan again
Rep. John James, R-Mich., voted for Rep. Byron Donalds. He voted for Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla. in the first round and former Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., in the second.
Granger votes against Jordan
Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, voted for Scalise for the third time.
Gonzales votes against Jordan
Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, voted for Scalise for the third time.
Fitzpatrick switches vote from Jordan to McHenry
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., who voted for Jordan earlier this week, switched his vote to McHenry.
Gimenez votes against Jordan
Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., voted for McCarthy for the third time.
Garbarino votes against Jordan
Rep. Andrew Garbarino, R-N.Y., voted for former Rep. Lee Zeldin for the third time.
Ferguson votes against Jordan
Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-Ga., voted for Scalise for the second time after voting for Jordan in the first round.
Ellzey votes against Jordan
Rep. Jake Ellzey, R-Texas, voted for fellow Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif., for the third time.
Jordan poised to fall short a third time
So far, six Republican have voted for someone other than Jordan, putting him a path to failing a third time. Members could still change their votes before the voting is concluded.
Diaz-Balart votes again for Scalise
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., voted for Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., for the third time.
D'Esposito votes against Jordan
Rep. Anthony D'Esposito, R-N.Y., voted for former Rep. Lee Zeldin for the third time.
Rep. Steve Cohen invokes 'Groundhog Day'
Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., said on voting that he’s feeling “a lot like Bill Murray … for the 18th time Hakeem Jeffries”
Chavez-DeRemer does not vote for Jordan
Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer, R-Ore., voted for Speaker pro tempore Patrick McHenry. She voted for McCarthy in the first two rounds.
Buchanan votes against Jordan on the floor
Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., voted for Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla. for the second time.
Buck votes against Jordan
Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., voted for Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., for the third time.
Rep. Payne to miss vote
A spokesman for Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., confirmed he won't make the vote today: "The Congressman planned to vote today, but he is dealing with a minor health issue and his doctor instructed him to miss the votes as a precautionary measure."
The House Clerk confirmed five members missed the attendance vote:
- Smith (WA)
- Van Orden
Bacon is first GOP vote against Jordan in third round
Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., voted for Speaker pro tempore Patrick McHenry. He voted for Kevin McCarthy in the previous two rounds.
Democrats chant support for Jeffries
House Democrats broke into applause and chanted Hakeem Jeffries' first name after nominating him for speaker.
Molinaro says he won't vote for Jordan today
Rep. Marc Molinaro said he will flip to vote no for Jordan.
The freshman New York Republican told NBC News that he supported Jordan previously because he "felt he could unify the conference."
"We are as divided as ever. We have entrenched opposition, and we have members who, quite frankly, are experiencing a level of violence and criticism that's just not it's not acceptable in American politics. Therefore, I think the best approach is to return to that conference room and and coalesce around a conservative candidate who can win," Molinaro said.
Asked if he would vote for Jordan again, Molinaro said: "It is not my intention to do so today."
McCarthy praises Jordan's record in nominating him for speaker
McCarthy touted Jordan’s legislative record, including passage of a border security bill, saying Jordan sought to find compromise with members on the legislation. He also claimed Democrats were voting against Jordan because they opposed the bill.
McCarthy also said he called the freshman members of the Judiciary Committee, which Jordan chairs, who expressed their support for him as speaker, saying one called Jordan “straightforward, honest and reliable.”
“That is who Jim Jordan is, and that’s what being a speaker is all about,” McCarthy said.
He said he became close friends with Jordan when they were both elected to Congress. When Jordan ran against him for Republican leader in 2018, it was “a hard-fought battle," he added. "But I never once questioned his skills or commitment to this conference and this country.”
Despite their differences, McCarthy said he asked Jordan to lead House Oversight and the Judiciary committees because of he was the right person for those positions.
“I’ve seen Jim spend his entire career fighting for freedom, no matter what, no matter the odds, and I know he is ready for the job,” McCarthy said of Jordan’s bid for speaker.
Rep. Clark nominates Jeffries
Rep. Katherine Clark, the Democratic whip, nominated Hakeem Jeffries.
"Leader Jeffries has answered our call but the majority's nominee is disconnected," Clark said.
She went on to attack Jordan.
"Over his 16 years in the House, he has never supported a farm bill," Clark said.
Jeffies says Democrats will stay 'as long as it takes' to defeat Jordan
Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Minority Whip Katherine Clark and Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar gaggled briefly this morning on their way to votes. Jeffries told NBC News he still believes a bipartisan path forward is possible to elect a speaker because “there are still reasonable Republicans on the other side of the aisle” and cited a desire for bipartisan bills to be brought to the floor.
With the looming threat of weekend votes, he said Democrats will stay “as long as it takes.”
Asked if he had conversations with Republican colleagues about a bipartisan path forward, Jeffries specifically responded “I haven’t spoken directly with Patrick McHenry.”
Scalise sits far from leadership, seen by some lawmakers as a protest
Majority Leader Steve Scalise is sitting far away from leadership again. Some lawmakers have viewed the move as a protest.
Scalise — who recently dropped his bid to be House speaker one day after he captured the GOP’s nomination for the top job — was huddling moments ago with allies Reps. Steve Womack and Vern Buchanan.
House Majority Whip Tom Emmer and GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik are sitting together across from Jordan and Rep. Warren Davidson as usual.
House to begin third vote on Jordan for speaker
After a quorum call, the House is moving on to the vote on Jim Jordan's candidacy for speaker. McCarthy rose to nominate Jordan.
McCarthy will deliver nominating speech for Jordan
Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will deliver today’s nominating speech for Jordan, a source familiar told NBC News.
Jordan chats with supporters as House session begins
Jordan just walked onto the floor, with a few pats on the back and shaking heads with supporters as he walked down the aisle. Meanwhile, the Republican leadership table in the chamber has candy and packs of gum available for members.
House is in session
The House was called into session for the third round of voting on Jim Jordan for speaker of the House.
Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., told Meet the Press NOW that he received death threats over not voting for Jim Jordan as speaker and described the “painful” meetings among House Republicans.
Biden urges aid for Israel and Ukraine
President Joe Biden spoke to the nation in a rare prime-time address last night, explaining why he believes it’s crucial for Israel and Ukraine to win the respective wars they’re fighting, as he looks to build support for a hefty aid package aimed at strengthening both countries.
Though Israel endured a horrifying attack from Hamas militants on Oct. 7, Biden said that he cautioned Israelis not to repeat the mistakes an angered U.S. made after terrorists attacked the country on Sept. 11, 2001, an apparent reference to the prolonged U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Biden’s Oval Office speech followed a quick visit Wednesday to Tel Aviv, where he met with Israeli leaders and discussed the next phase of a counterattack in Gaza that began with an aerial bombardment and may now shift to a risky ground incursion.
The president's remarks also aimed to put pressure on Congress to approve an emergency funding package that his administration plans to submit Friday. Biden may request $60 billion in aid to Ukraine and a total of $40 billion for Israel, Taiwan and the U.S.-Mexico border, people familiar with the matter said this week.
Jordan repeats debunked claims of 2020 election fraud
During his press conference, Jordan was asked about communications he had with then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about ways Mike Pence could, as vice president, stop the certification of the election results.
Jordan's efforts to overturn the 2020 election in favor of Donald Trump is a key concern of one of the most vocal opponents to his speaker bid, Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado.
Jordan on Friday defended his actions and repeated his claim that there was fraud in the 2020 election. There has been no evidence that widespread fraud occurred.
"I think there are all kinds of problems with the 2020 election, I've been clear on about that," he said.
"I forwarded it on to him," he added, referring to a memo laying out a legal theory about the vice president’s authority. "That was all it was."
Massie and Perry criticize Jordan's opponents
Reps. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Scott Perry, R-Pa., two of Jim Jordan’s staunchest allies, criticized Jordan's opponents as having “indefensible” excuses.
Perry said no one complained about “the pressure campaign from all the lobbyists and special interest groups in January” when McCarthy ran for speaker.
“Suddenly now they mind all the calls and emails and texts and letters and visits from their constituents," Perry said.
Massie said Jordan's opponents want an omnibus spending package.
"Seriously, Jim Jordan is the only one who has a credible plan to not have a Christmas omnibus. ... There are appropriators who ironically don’t want their 12 bills to go through regular order because they are very comfortable that they can protect their equities in an omnibus bill, which doesn’t get all messed up by anybody else," he said.
GOP congressman left for Israel on Thursday, report says
Rep. Derrick Van Orden, R-Wis., left for Israel yesterday to observe the situation on the ground, which means Jordan will be down at least one vote today.
“After retiring from the military in 2014, I made a solemn promise to the Jewish people that if anything like what took place on October 7, 2023, were to ever happen, that I would help them and their nation to the best of my ability,” Van Orden said in a statement obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Van Orden said the purpose of the trip is "to witness what has and is taking place so that I can speak from an informed position."
Divided Texas delegation to huddle before speaker vote
As the House hurtles into another day of unknowns, the Texas congressional delegation will huddle at 9 a.m. in the Capitol, just an hour before a planned 10 a.m. vote, a source familiar with the mater tells us.
The delegation is divided: Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Kay Granger opposes Jordan’s speaker bid, while key members, like Chip Roy, are big backers.
Jordan argues the House can't help Israel until a speaker is elected
Jordan laid out his argument this morning for why it's essential that the House select a speaker as soon as possible.
The Ohio Republican said at a news conference that Republicans need to consider why voters sent them to Congress.
"We need to do what we told them we were going to do when they elected us and put us in office, and frankly we can’t do that if the House isn’t open," he told reporters.
Jordan said the House can't pass appropriations bills, including aid to Israel.
"Our plan this weekend is to get a speaker elected to the House of Representatives as soon as possible so we can help the American people," he said.
A plan to temporarily empower Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., as interim speaker has lost support among Republicans as they work to choose a new House speaker. NBC News’ Ryan Nobles reports from Capitol Hill, where Jim Jordan says he's still running for the speakership.
Temporary Speaker McHenry threatens to quit
In a closed-door meeting last night, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., told GOP colleagues he might resign as speaker pro tempore if Republicans push him to try to move legislation on the floor without an explicit vote to expand his powers, according to multiple lawmakers in the room.
“If you guys try to do that, you’ll figure out who the next person on Kevin’s list is,” McHenry told the room, three sources said, referring to former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s secret list of GOP lawmakers who would serve as temporary speaker in the event of a vacancy.
McHenry’s comments underscore the quandary Republicans are in: They can’t really do anything until they choose a new speaker, but they can’t agree on someone who can get the votes to be that new speaker.
And McHenry is unwilling to set a precedent that would give future temporary speakers the full power of speakers who are elected on the House floor. It could mean that the House wouldn’t need to elect speakers in the future.
Jim Jordan’s effort to empower interim Speaker Patrick McHenry collapses
An effort backed by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, to empower interim Speaker Patrick McHenry of North Carolina collapsed yesterday after it became clear it wouldn’t get enough support from House Republicans.
Jordan, the GOP’s latest nominee for speaker, who lost two rounds of votes this week, had floated the idea of temporarily empowering McHenry while he worked to shore up enough support for his own candidacy, according to three sources. The plan would have empowered McHenry until January, the sources said, allowing legislative business to continue in the face of two wars and a looming government shutdown.
But after leaving a heated, 3½-hour closed-door meeting with GOP members, Jordan said empowering McHenry was not a viable option. He said that it was a way to “lower the temperature and get back to work” but that “we decided that wasn’t where we’re going to go.”
Jordan reiterated that he was not planning to drop out of the race.