House mulls path forward after Jordan loses second ballot

By Manuel Quiñones | 10/18/2023 01:36 PM EDT

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are discussing options to allow the House to conduct legislative business.

Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

(Left to right) Acting Speaker Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) speaking Wednesday before a second vote this week for speaker. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Members of both parties are considering alternatives for running the House after Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan of Ohio lost a second ballot in his bid for the speakership.

Twenty-two Republicans opposed Jordan, two more than during the first ballot Tuesday. Still, Jordan and his allies are expressing optimism about their prospects.

“We’re going to keep working to try to secure the votes,” Jordan said Wednesday morning.


A growing numbers of Democratic and Republican lawmakers have been talking about empowering acting Speaker Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) to conduct legislative business.

“We need to be able to move things forward,” said Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.) told POLITICO. “There is a consensus that we need to be able to have a process to move legislation forward.”

It’s unclear whether empowering McHenry would get the necessary bipartisan support necessary to succeed or what the parameters may look like.

Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), contradicting members on both sides of the aisle, said McHenry already has all the power he needs.

“I think you shouldn’t have to do a resolution. McHenry can carry this on as we elect Jim Jordan,” said McCarthy.

House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar (R-Calif.) said on the floor his side of the aisle was open to a bipartisan path forward.

“The country can’t afford any more delays and any more candidates,” said Aguilar. “Fifteen days should be enough.”

Reporters Rebekah Alvey, Kelsey Brugger and Anthony Adragna contributed.