Amid the ongoing struggle to tap a replacement for ousted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Republicans in the lower chamber adjourned for the weekend as doubts began to creep in that the GOP's nominee for the post – Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan – may lack sufficient votes to secure the job, as Fox News reports.
The sense of déjà vu is palpable, in that Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) already prevailed in a conference vote to secure the party's nomination for the speakership, only to withdraw once it became evident that he did not have the numbers necessary to win a full floor vote in the House.
According to Fox News, following the weekend break, Republican leaders may schedule an additional conference for Monday, with the full House floor vote to follow at some point thereafter.
However, the sources who spoke to Fox News emphasized that nothing is set in stone, given the extremely fluid nature of recent events.
In the vote that gave him the nomination, Jordan took 124 votes, whereas challenger Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia received only 81.
Following that round of voting, Jordan sought a second round of balloting in order to gauge support for the full floor vote.
In that survey, Jordan secured 152 votes, though 55 of his GOP colleagues declared their unwillingness to support him at the next stage of the selection process.
Given that no Democrats are likely to cross the aisle to support Jordan's bid for the gavel, he would need to secure 217 votes to ascend to the speaker's chair.
Jordan's reputation as a hardline conservative on many issues has engendered resistance among moderates within the GOP, with Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL) exemplifying the reservations held by some.
Apparently still holding out hope that McCarthy might be thrust back into the role, Gimenez said last week, “Our Congress is still without a speaker of the House, because 8 Republicans joined all the Democrats to plunge our nation into chaos. I'm still OK. Only Kevin.”
McCarthy, however, appears to believe that Jordan will reach the needed vote threshold in the end, according to The Hill.
During an appearance on Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures, McCarthy said, “I believe, at the end of the day, Jim can get there,” noting that while Jordan does not yet have the necessary votes, “[h]e's talking to every single member, assessing what their challenges are.” Whether the former speaker's prediction bears out, however, only time will tell.