December 3, 2023

Washington — The House of Representatives convened Tuesday to hold a formal vote to elect its new speaker, with Republicans putting forth Rep. Jim Jordan as their candidate to fill the post two weeks after the historic ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy roiled the conference.

Jordan appeared to be on his way to 217 votes on Monday night, having won public endorsements of seven Republicans who had opposed him. Many of them said in statements that they had “productive conversations” with Jordan and would vote for him on the House floor. Asked if he thought he’d reach 217 votes in the first round of voting, Jordan told reporters, “I think so,” but if not, “we’ll keep voting.”

The vote on the Republican and Democratic candidates for speaker — Jordan of Ohio and Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York, respectively — will be a crucial test of support for Jordan, who was nominated by the GOP conference in a secret ballot vote Friday. Fifty-five Republicans opposed him in the party’s final ballot, and he spent the days leading up to the floor vote meeting with and calling holdouts to convince them to support his bid. By the end of the weekend, there were still 10 to 20 holdouts, CBS News’ Robert Costa reported. 

With all Democrats expected to vote for Jeffries, it’s unclear whether Jordan, a conservative firebrand and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, can secure the 217 votes needed to claim the gavel. He still faces opposition from a number of moderate Republicans heading into the formal vote and can only afford four defections to take the helm of the House.

The House is set to return at 12 p.m. ET, after which members will deliver opening statements, and Jordan and Jeffries will be nominated for speaker. 

Alejandro Alvarez contributed to this report.

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