Jordan says no chance he’ll be Speaker despite peeling off McCarthy’s support

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) speaks with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
Greg Nash
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) speaks with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) following the Speaker vote during the first day of the 118th session of Congress on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Tuesday said there was no chance that he would become House Speaker after lawmakers adjourned without electing a new leader, despite garnering the support of a group of Republicans that has refused to support Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)

Twenty GOP lawmakers voted for Jordan to lead the chamber in the historic third round of voting for Speaker. But the Ohio Republican, who offered the nominating speech for McCarthy before the second round of voting, continued to support McCarthy. He told reporters after the third vote that he had no intention of becoming Speaker.

“I’m being clear, I want to chair the Judiciary Committee,” Jordan said. “I like this ability to cross examine witnesses and get the truth for the country.”

After the first round of voting, the opposition support for McCarthy was divided among Jordan, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and a few other lawmakers. But 19 of the McCarthy detractors switched their support to Jordan in the second ballot and even picked up a 20th vote in the third round for Jordan.

The split among Republicans pushed the chamber to adjourn until Wednesday afternoon, when a fourth round of voting is expected.

McCarthy and the group of his defectors had spent the week negotiating a deal to secure him the gavel. Hard-line conservatives that chose to withhold support for the Republican leader wanted to secure changes to the House rules package, including a “motion to vacate,” which would allow lawmakers to unseat a Speaker.

But unable to come to an agreement, McCarthy’s opponents had teased that they had a candidate waiting in the wings to throw their support behind. The idea was met with skepticism by other Republicans.

Tags Andy Biggs house Jim Jordan Jordan Kevin McCarthy McCarthy republicans Speaker

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