scroll to top arrow or icon

The road ahead for House Republicans

Oct 18, 2023; Washington, DC, USA; Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio is seen on the House floor as lawmakers hold a second vote to elect a new speaker in Washington.

Oct 18, 2023; Washington, DC, USA; Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio is seen on the House floor as lawmakers hold a second vote to elect a new speaker in Washington.

Jack Gruber-USA TODAY via Reuters

With the current balance of power in the US House of Representatives, no Republican can become speaker without winning at least 217 of the party’s 221 members. Jim Jordan of Ohio became the latest to give it a shot, but he fell short by 20 votes on Tuesday and then by 22 votes on Wednesday.

These numbers suggest he’s not going to get there. Some Republicans who voted for others fear hardliner Jordan would endanger their chances of winning reelection in moderate districts. Some dislike Jordan personally. There’s also probably some overlap between these two groups. These are the lawmakers who have blocked Jordan’s path.

Given the fates of ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California and failed wannabe replacement Steve Scalise of Louisiana, it appears no one can unite this GOP House caucus. At least for now.

There is an alternative. Once again, the need to respond to the Israel crisis and to bargain with Democrats to avoid yet another threatened government shutdown next month has reignited talk that Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, now acting as the temporary speaker, will be given the job for some set period (perhaps one to three months) while Republicans try again to work out their differences.

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO's daily newsletter