House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, lost the first-round vote to be House speaker on Tuesday after 20 Republicans joined all Democrats to shoot down his candidacy.
Seven Republicans voted for Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., who was the previous speaker-designate before being forced to withdraw due to mounting opposition. Six GOP lawmakers voted for ousted ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and three moderate New York Republicans voted for former GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York.
Additional votes were cast for House Rules Committee Chairman Tom Cole, R-Okla., Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif., and Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky.
Jordan told reporters later on Tuesday that he intended to hold another vote later in the day.
‘We need to get a speaker as soon as possible to get back to work for the American people,’ he said.
But there appears to be some friction going on behind closed doors. A source familiar with discussions told Fox News Digital that Jordan and Scalise met after the vote. During the meeting, Jordan asked for Scalise’s support for speaker, but Scalise would not commit, the source said.
A spokesperson for Scalise told Fox News Digital that the report was ‘not accurate.’
‘Leader Scalise has been the only candidate throughout this process who has publicly declared he will be supportive of whomever the conference nominates for Speaker, and his position has not changed. He voted for Jim Jordan on the floor and will continue to do so,’ the spokesperson said.
Jordan was selected to be the House GOP’s candidate for speaker in an anonymous vote last week, but it became immediately clear that it would be an uphill battle to win the support of moderates and other wary establishment Republicans.
The latter had been Republicans’ original speaker-designate after McCarthy’s ouster two weeks ago. But opposition, primarily from Jordan allies who insisted they would vote for the Ohio Republican no matter what, forced him to drop out just a day later.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday morning, Jordan would not answer when asked how many rounds of voting he was willing to hold.
‘We need to get a speaker as soon as possible,’ he said instead.