Lawmakers in the House of Representatives are gearing up for another vote on a new speaker late on Wednesday morning.
Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, House Republicans’ candidate for the gavel, fell 17 votes short of the 217 he needed to win on Tuesday afternoon.
‘We’re gonna keep going. I’ve had great conversations, great discussions with our colleagues,’ Jordan told reporters in the early evening. ‘No one in our conference wants to see any type of coalition government with Democrats. So we’re going to keep working, and we’re going to get to the votes.’
The House is now returning at 11 a.m. for the next planned vote — but even lawmakers are at a loss about what comes now.
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., told Fox News Digital on Tuesday evening that anyone who claims to know what will happen next ‘is full of it.’
Malliotakis, who voted for Jordan, said she intends to keep doing so — and predicted that his support would grow.
‘I think there’s some movement, and that’s positive. So the idea is to build consensus, that’s positive, not to jump ship just because it didn’t work in the first round,’ she said. ‘As I see it, he’s the person who can bring the factions together now. If he can’t, quite frankly, then we have bigger problems.’
Rep. Keith Self, R-Texas, insisted that Jordan was still a viable candidate. He conceded Jordan may lose votes in subsequent rounds but predicted he’d ultimately win.
‘We may see some leakage tomorrow. But if we stand firm, one, I don’t think leakage will be much. And two, I think that we’ll see it start to come our way on subsequent votes. So I am very optimistic,’ Self told Fox News Digital.
But a senior GOP aide who spoke with Fox News Digital was less certain. ‘Any momentum that Jordan had coming in today — which I personally thought he had — gone,’ the aide said.
They predicted that Republicans could soon have to ‘start from scratch’ electing a new speaker candidate.
Meanwhile, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., has been teasing the possibility of a compromise with Republicans.
When Fox News Digital asked Jeffries whether he had outreach from any Republican members on such a deal, he said there were ‘informal conversations’ ongoing — though he declined to give any details.
‘There have been ongoing informal conversations that have been undertaken over the last few days. I think it’s a possibility those can accelerate now that Jim Jordan clearly does not have the votes to be speaker,’ Jeffries said.
‘There are many good men and women on the Republican side of the aisle who are qualified to be the Speaker of the House of Representatives. There is no circumstance when Jim Jordan is one of them.’
When asked about interim Speaker Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., as one viable candidate, Jeffries told another reporter that McHenry was ‘respected on our side of the aisle’ but reiterated that there was not one candidate Democrats were tied to.
But a majority of moderates who were floated as potentially open to working with Democrats have poured cold water on the idea. Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., who voted against Jordan on Tuesday, wrote on X the day prior, ‘This is just stupid and a 100% falsehood. Not a SINGLE (not ONE) Republican in the House will be voting for Mr Jeffries.’
Malliotakis threw cold water on the idea, pointing out that Democrats were now calling for bipartisanship all voted with eight Republicans to oust ex-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., two weeks ago.
‘The time to be bipartisan was 14 days ago, and they chose to side with the right-wing fringe to create chaos and bring the Congress to a standstill,’ she said.
Self also dismissed the idea outright, saying, ‘Any Republican that goes across for a coalition government, it would be the death knell, so I just, I don’t even deal with that hypothetical.’
The senior GOP aide who spoke with Fox News Digital said any Republican who makes a deal with Democrats to be speaker will likely have a hard time commanding the conference.
‘That’s just Hakeem Jeffries saying it in the news so he can say the talking point, of ‘the Democrats wants to do what’s best for the country and we want to work together and bipartisanship,’’ the aide said.
‘There’s no real talk, and if a Republican crosses over to get their support, then that person immediately starts off with no support from the conference.’