Another hard-right Republican fails in latest bid to occupy House Speaker’s chair

After two failed floor votes, Jim Jordan has abandoned hope of becoming Speaker..

After two failed floor votes, Jim Jordan has abandoned hope of becoming Speaker.. Photo: Getty

The political chaos in Washington shows no sign of easing after hardline conservative Republican Jim Jordan’s quest to become House Speaker was torpedoed by fellow Republicans

The crushing of the ardent Donald Trump supporter’ hopes came after a  third vote on the House floor failed to gain the needed majority.

That means the House, until at least next week, will remain unable to respond to President Joe Biden’s request for a $US106 billion ($A168 billion) national-security package that includes military aid for Ukraine and Israel.

An empty Speaker’s chair also increases doubts legislative action can be taken to forestall a looming partial government shutdown when funding expires on November 18.

That sinking feeling

Support for Jordan’s candidacy faded over the course of the week. He received 194 votes in a third round of balloting on Friday, down from the 200 votes on Tuesday and well short of the majority he needed to claim the Speaker’s gavel.

Republicans then voted 112-86 to revoke Jordan’s nomination in a closed-door meeting.

“It was an honour to be their Speaker designee,” Jordan told reporters after the meeting.

“We need to come together to figure out who our Speaker is going to be. I’m going to work as hard as I can to help that individual.”

It is not clear who Republicans might turn to next.

“We’ll have to go back to the drawing board,” said Representative Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted as Speaker by a small faction of his fellow Republicans on October 3.

Knife-edge majority

McCarthy later endorsed Representative Tom Emmer, the No.3 House Republican. At least four other lawmakers have said they would run for the job, with possibly more to come.

Republicans control the House by a narrow 221-212 majority and can afford few defections on party-line votes, a vulnerability highlighted by the current display of legislative dysfunction.

Aside from McCarthy and Jordan, Republicans have also rejected their No.2, Steve Scalise. The survivor of a 2018 gun rampage by a Bernie Sanders supporter won the nomination last week but dropped out after he was unable to consolidate support.

Lawmakers said they would hear from candidates on Monday evening, with a possible vote on Tuesday.

-with AAP

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