US Republican Jordan also fails in the second round of voting for congressional leadership

The arch-conservative US Republican Jim Jordan also failed in the second round of voting to elect a new chairman of the House of Representatives. Former President Donald Trump’s confidant received 199 votes on Wednesday, once again missing the necessary majority of 217 votes. 22 Republicans refused to support the right-wing hardliner, the 212 Democratic MPs voted unanimously for their parliamentary group leader Hakeem Jeffries.

In the first round of voting on Tuesday, Jordan, who faces major reservations from moderate Republicans, received 200 votes. The current chairman of the chamber’s Judiciary Committee then pushed for another vote to break resistance from his internal party opponents. “We have a chance today to end this chaos and this uncertainty,” said his party colleague Tom Cole before the vote.

Jordan now failed again in his attempt to be elected to the third-highest state office in the USA – and did even worse than in the first round. It was initially unclear whether the candidate supported by Trump would insist on a third round of voting or throw in the towel. No further vote has been scheduled for Wednesday, but there could be a new round of voting on Thursday.

This extends the blockade of the House of Representatives, which has already been ongoing for more than two weeks. The previous chairman, Kevin McCarthy, was deposed on October 3rd in the wake of a revolt by right-wing hardliners in his own party. It was the first removal of a House Speaker in US history.

The Republican faction subsequently nominated its majority leader Steve Scalise as his successor. However, he withdrew his candidacy when it became clear that he would not receive the necessary majority in the plenary session. The faction then sent the hardliner Jordan into the race, who had previously been defeated by Scalise within the party.

The chaos among the Republicans has far-reaching consequences: without a chairman, the House of Representatives is largely paralyzed. This means, among other things, that Congress cannot decide on any further military aid for Israel, which has been attacked by the radical Islamic Palestinian organization Hamas, or Ukraine, which has been attacked by Russia. The USA is also threatened with a so-called shutdown in mid-November without a solution to the budget dispute.

MPs are therefore considering giving the current acting chairman Patrick McHenry more powers. This could then introduce legal texts – including those with new aid for Israel and Ukraine. US President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday during a visit to Tel Aviv that he would ask Congress “this week” for comprehensive military aid for Israel, which is under attack by Hamas.

Jordan has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2007 and is one of the founders of the influential right-wing parliamentary group Freedom Caucus. The representative from the state of Ohio was for a long time on the right-wing fringe of the Republicans, but over the years he increasingly became a central figure in the party as it moved to the right.

For years, the abortion opponent and advocate of the right to bear arms has also been an ardent supporter and defender of Donald Trump. When Trump refused to acknowledge his defeat by Biden after the 2020 presidential election, he had a loyal running mate in Jordan. The Democrats therefore hold the MP partly responsible for the attack on Congress on January 6, 2021.

Since January, Jordan has chaired the powerful House Judiciary Committee. He is one of the drivers of impeachment proceedings against President Biden over allegations of being involved in controversial foreign transactions by his son Hunter Biden.