GOP Rep. Jim Jordan nominated Kevin McCarthy as the next House speaker for the historic second ballot on Tuesday, after which Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., nominated Jordan as an alternative to take the gavel.
Jordan, R-Ohio, nominated McCarthy, R-Calif., in a second vote for House speaker after no candidate had enough to win an outright majority on the first ballot — for the first time since 1923.
Jordan voted for McCarthy in the first round, but six Republicans voted for the congressman from Ohio, the likely incoming chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
As he nominated McCarthy, Jordan called for unity within the party and said the differences in Republicans’ beliefs on who should be speaker ‘pale in comparison to the differences between us and the left.’
Jordan acknowledged that he and McCarthy ‘haven’t always agreed on everything,’ but he said, ‘I like his fight. I like his tenacity.’
‘We need to rally around him,’ Jordan said as he outlined the priorities for the 118th Congress. Those priorities include passing bills that ‘fix the problems’ related to immigration, energy policy, education policy and inflation; prevent massive spending packages from getting through; and conducting oversight and investigations.
‘That’s what the American people want us to do. They want us to fight for the things they care about, and they elected us to do,’ Jordan said. ‘We should all remember — only about 12,000 people have ever had the opportunity to do what we’re doing today — sit in this body, serve in this Congress.’
He added: ‘It is a privilege. It is an opportunity. We owe it to them, the American people, the good people of this great country to step forward, to come together, get a speaker elected so we can address these three things.’
Moments later, Gaetz took the floor and nominated Jordan, calling him ‘the most talented, hardest working member of the Republican conference.’
Gaetz described Jordan’s nomination speech as one ‘with more vision than we have ever heard from the alternative.’
Gaetz described Jordan as ‘humble to a fault,’ and said that ‘maybe the right person for the job of speaker of the House isn’t someone who wants it so bad.’
‘Maybe Jim Jordan is the right person for Speaker of the House because he is not beholden to the lobbyists and special interests who have corrupted this place and corrupted this nation under the leadership of both Republicans and Democrats,’ Gaetz said.
With regard to Jordan’s comments about the GOP priorities for the 118th Congress —specifically oversight investigations — Gaetz said that all of his Republican colleagues know ‘that the person who can lead that oversight effort, who works on it every day, who has the skill and the talent and the will, is Jim Jordan.’
‘I’m nominating him and I’m voting for him,’ Gaetz said.
The House of Representatives leadership election is at a second ballot for the first time since 1923 after no candidate secured the 218 votes necessary to be elected House speaker.
The failure to reach 218 was widely expected, and McCarthy himself indicated that he expected a few rounds of voting.