Jim Jordan is deep in his flop era

Rep. Jim Jordan on the House floor.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) listens after his bid to be the new House speaker fell short Tuesday.
(Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

He is the face of the far-right faction taking over American politics. He was endorsed by Trump, and the party’s so-called problem children refused to stand in his way.

Still, it seems that Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan’s bid for House speaker is all but doomed. On Tuesday, 20 Republicans blocked his nomination during a floor vote. And that number is likely to increase by the next vote Wednesday at 11 a.m. Eastern time. How did we get here?

Hello, friends. I’m Erin B. Logan, a reporter covering Congress for the L.A. Times.

He does not have the votes

Jordan on Tuesday fell short of the votes to secure the speakership, continuing the uncertainty that followed the historic ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy this month. Twenty Republicans voted against Jordan, including Rep. Doug LaMalfa of Richvale.

After the vote, LaMalfa told me his vote was in protest of the ouster of his dear friend McCarthy. He told me he would back Jordan in the next vote and suspected at least two other “no” votes would follow his lead. While that could be true, it’s also been reported at least five more Republicans are expected to vote against Jordan in Wednesday morning‘s floor vote.

Electing a speaker is crucial. House votes on other legislative matters are at a standstill, including a U.S. response to the violence in Israel, the war in Ukraine and another impending government shutdown deadline on Nov. 17.

Can anyone in the party get 217 votes to win? I would say it seems not! But a possible solution is for Republicans to cut a deal with Democrats and temporarily empower North Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry, who is currently serving as speaker pro tempore.

On the steps of the Capitol Tuesday evening, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York told reporters that his party respects McHenry and that all options are on the table. It’s unclear if McHenry, a longtime McCarthy ally, would agree to this deal. (Ahead of the floor vote, he told reporters he opposes expanding his powers.)


The latest from the campaign trail

—In the race to replace the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Rep. Adam B. Schiff continues to hold a strong lead over his rivals in fundraising, bringing in nearly $6 million in campaign contributions in the last three months, Times writer Laura J. Nelson reported.

—Los Angeles newscaster Christina Pascucci announced Wednesday morning that she is running for the U.S. Senate vacancy created by the death of Feinstein, Times writer Seema Mehta reported. The San Fernando Valley native argues that she offers a centrist option for voters tired of polarization in the nation’s politics.

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The view from Washington

—Biden arrived in the Middle East on Wednesday on a high-stakes mission to ease the Palestinian humanitarian crisis and reiterate support for Israel — a trip that went ahead even after the White House announced the cancellation of meetings with key Arab leaders following a massive blast at a Gaza Strip hospital in which hundreds of people were killed, Times writers Tracy Wilkinson and Courtney Subramanian reported.

—After a bustling first week in her new role as U.S. senator, meeting with union leaders and hobnobbing with celebrity political donors across California, Laphonza Butler said Sunday that she has COVID-19, Times writer Faith E. Pinho reported.

—Butler wielded her clout quietly during her rapid rise in Democratic politics in California, Times writers Noah Bierman, Taryn Luna, Matt Hamilton and Seema Mehta reported. An unexpected call from the governor’s office on Sept. 30 suddenly changed Butler’s role. No longer a behind-the-scenes operative, she’s now a front-facing principal and potentially a candidate to keep the late Dianne Feinstein’s seat.


—Government policies that cause widespread separation of migrant children from their parents would be banned under a proposed legal settlement filed Monday by the Biden administration and the American Civil Liberties Union, Times writers Andrea Castillo and Hamed Aleaziz reported. If approved by a judge, the settlement would prevent the federal government from using prosecutions of adults who enter the U.S. illegally to separate them from their children.

The view from California

—When Gov. Gavin Newsom put down his veto pen Friday night, closing the book on his fifth year of making laws for California, what emerged were signs that in his second term leading the state, the liberal Democrat from San Francisco is drifting toward the political center, Times writers Laurel Rosenhall and Taryn Luna reported. Newsom’s move toward centrism this year was more of a step than a leap, to be certain.

—As rising fossil fuel emissions continue to push global temperatures to record highs, Newsom will head to China this month to meet with officials on such environmental imperatives as offshore wind power, air pollution reduction and the transition to fully electric vehicles, according to the governor’s staff, Times writers Hayley Smith, Tony Brisco and Laurel Rosenhall reported.

—Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass on Monday abruptly removed a veteran city commissioner days after he led his colleagues in delaying a vote on a new Westside homeless facility backed by the mayor, Times writer Dakota Smith reported.

That’s it, friends! Sign up for our California Politics newsletter to get the best of The Times’ state politics reporting and to follow me on Instagram for the latest updates on my dear fur child, Kacey.

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