BREAKING: Jim Jordan Nominates McCarthy on Second Speaker Ballot; McCarthy Still Doesn't Have the Votes

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

It’s been a dramatic first working day of January on Capitol Hill, as the House has just failed to elect a Speaker on the second ballot of the day. As Jennifer O’Connell covered, 19 Republicans did not vote for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), leading to a first ballot result of 212 votes for Democrat Hakeem Jeffries, 203 for McCarthy, and the remaining votes going to Republicans Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, Jim Banks, and Lee Zeldin. On the second ballot the results were much the same, but with all 19 Republican dissenters uniting to vote for Jordan.


Before they entered the House chamber, though, there were some tense meetings and lots of last-minute, behind-the-scenes jockeying and negotiations occurring.

After the first ballot ended, CSPAN cameras showed Jordan and McCarthy in deep discussion, obviously strategizing for the second ballot. When it was again time for nominations, Jordan, a favorite of the anti-McCarthy faction, stepped up to nominate McCarthy. In his nomination, though, Jordan made it clear that he expected McCarthy to actually fight against the Democrats.

Jordan said, in part:

I think we have three objectives this Congress, three fundamental things we have to get done in the 118th Congress.

First, pass the bills that fix the problems. In two years’ time we have a border that is no longer a border. We have a military that can’t meet its recruitment goals. We have bad energy policy, bad education policy, record spending, record inflation, record debt, and a government that has been weaponized against We The People…

Second, we can never, ever let a bill like the one that passed 12 days ago, $1.7 trillion spent, we can never, ever let that kind of legislation pass again. We have to pass a budget that makes sense, that’s good common sense, then do the 12 appropriation bills that recognize it’s the people’s money, and not ours, and then send it to the Senate and stand firm on that legislation. And again, if they won’t take it up, and Joe Biden won’t sign it, we can stand firm on a CR or something. We can have that fight, but we are not gonna have what took place a week and a half ago ever take place again.

And then finally, and most importantly, third, we’ve gotta do the oversight, do the investigations…that need to be done. This idea that bureaucrats who never put their name on a ballot but think they run the country, who have assaulted our constituents’ First Amendment liberties, they need to be held accountable. That has to happen.


One could definitely characterize Jordan’s nomination speech as a very clear warning to McCarthy, letting him know exactly what is expected of him as Speaker.

Jordan then made an appeal to unity against the left.

To my friends here on this side of the aisle, I would just say this. The differences we have…they pale in comparison to the differences between us and the left, which now, unfortunately, controls the other party. So we had better come together and fight for these key things, these three things. That’s what the people want us to do. And I think Kevin McCarthy is the right guy to lead us.

After Jeffries was again nominated, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) stood to nominate… Jim Jordan.

Gaetz’s ally, Rep. Lauren Boebert, tweeted in support of Jordan as speaker, referencing his nomination speech.

Jordan’s urge for unity was successful, though not in the way he’d hoped.

A third vote will take place shortly.


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