December 11, 2023

Washington — Rep. Jim Jordan says he’ll remain in the race for House speaker, even though he lost more ground Wednesday than he gained as the House held the second floor vote, winning 199 votes, compared to 200 on Tuesday. Twenty-two Republicans voted against him. He said after the vote that he did not expect another ballot until Thursday, at the earliest.

The House is now in its third week without a leader as Republicans’ path forward remained unclear. GOP Rep. Ken Buck, who opposed Jordan in both ballots, thinks that Jordan “bleeds three or four votes” if there are more rounds of voting ahead. “More and more members are going to be able to say, ‘I voted for him the first two times, now we have to move on,'” Buck told CBS News’ Major Garrett on Wednesday.

Republican Rep. Mark Green, who’s backing Jordan, said on CBS News’ “America Decides Wednesday that “the process “has been ugly” but is still hopeful Jordan will win the speakership Thursday.

Several who voted against Jordan seemed intent on continuing to do so. But the Ohio Republican seemed to suggest Wednesday after he lost the second ballot that it was just a matter of time before his numbers turned around.

“Speaker McCarthy, he had a two-month runway from when he got the conference nomination and when we got to that first week in January, so we’re right where he was in his numbers,” Jordan told reporters. He was referencing the time between the GOP conference vote to nominate McCarthy after the November midterm elections and the formal House floor vote at the start of the new Congress in January 2023.

But some Jordan critics inside the House Republican conference have decided to stagger their votes, so the votes against Jordan grow with each round, CBS News’ Robert Costa reported. This stems from their belief that Jordan won’t quit the speaker race unless it’s obvious he’s losing votes along the way, according to two House Republicans who spoke on background to discuss private deliberations. CNN first reported this development. 

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