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House of Representatives stays in limbo after Jordan fails on second vote for speaker

The House of Representatives is heading into yet another day without a speaker, and likely another day of votes amid Republican infighting and a failure to rally enough support — twice over — for Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., announced the next votes in the House would take place no earlier than 12:00 p.m. Thursday.

That’s when Jordan, R-Ohio, intends to hold a third round vote on the floor for speaker.

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“We’re going to keep going,” Jordan’s spokesman told Fox News Digital Wednesday.

Jim Jordan of Ohio

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan fell over a dozen votes shy of the majority needed to win the speakership Wednesday. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A Jordan spokesman doubled down Wednesday night, saying they have all intentions of going for a third round vote.

Republicans nominated Jordan to be the next House speaker, but he needs support from 217 members.

All House Democrats and 22 Republicans voted against Jordan’s bid for speaker on Wednesday. That’s two more GOP lawmakers voting against him than on Tuesday. All Democrats voted for Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

But Jordan allies insist that is not a sign of a failed speaker campaign.

“Don’t lose faith if [Jordan] loses a few votes on the second ballot. I’m committed to voting as many times as we must to get Jim elected as Speaker, as long as he is putting his name forward,” Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., wrote on X. “If that means we vote all night, then buckle up cause we will vote all night!”

And earlier, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry, R-Pa., also expressed optimism.

“Just so there’s no surprises: Jordan will likely have FEWER votes today than yesterday — as I expected,” Perry said on social media.

“This is the fight — which Jim Jordan represents — to end the status quo, and it ain’t easy…Stay strong and keep praying.”

Rep. Jim Jordan, right, and Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Patrick McHenry

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) (R) talks to Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) as the House of Representatives prepares to hold a vote on a new Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol on October 18, 2023 in Washington, DC.  (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

But even as at least 199 Republican lawmakers rally around Jordan, some are looking for alternate paths, including how to empower Rep. Patrick McHenry, who is currently serving as interim speaker, also known as speaker pro tempore.

Rep. Dave Joyce, R-Pa., chairman of the Republican Governance Group, is calling to flesh out McHenry’s role in leadership, particularly in light of the urgency for Congress to approve aid for Israel as it fights a war with terror group Hamas.

The idea is also gaining steam among lawmakers who voted against Jordan. Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., who has said he will keep voting for McCarthy on the House floor, told Fox News Digital that he was supportive of the effort.

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“If we don’t get to a speaker in a day or two, I think we need to move forward in getting the House back in business, and so any resolution that would give McHenry more power to do that… I would be in favor of,” he said.

The House of Representatives is very much charting uncertain territory now — Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s removal was the first in the chamber’s history — and it’s not clear that McHenry’s current powers extend beyond just overseeing the election of the next speaker.

Scalise and McCarthy

Representative Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, speaks with Representative Steve Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana, left, during a meeting of the 118th Congress in the House Chamber at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023.  (Al Drago/Getty Images)

While McHenry has said that he has no interest in the role, he is rapidly emerging as a likely consensus candidate that at least some Democrats could agree to.

Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said McHenry was “respected on our side of the aisle” when asked on Tuesday evening if he could be a viable candidate. Jeffries also said there were “informal conversations” about making a deal on a GOP speaker that he hoped would “accelerate” after Jordan’s rocky performance.

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On Tuesday night, former Republican Speakers Newt Gingrich and John Boehner both endorsed the idea of empowering McHenry.

Still, sources told Fox News Digital that Jordan has a path to the speakership, with some suggesting he just simply may need more time to garner support. That source said a temporary solution could help Jordan do just that. 

The uncertainty in the House comes after Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., earlier this month, introduced a motion to vacate against then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. When all Democrats and eight Republicans voted together, McCarthy was ousted from his post — a first in United States history. 

Brooke Singman is a Fox News Digital politics reporter. You can reach her at Brooke.Singman@Fox.com or @BrookeSingman on Twitter.

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