Republicans abruptly dropped Rep. Jim Jordan on Friday as their nominee for House speaker, making the decision during a closed-door session after he performed badly on a third ballot for the gavel.
After losing 20 votes on the first ballot this week and then subsequently losing more in the next two ballots, Republicans voted in a secret ballot to not put Jordan forward again as their nominee.
“More than 112 members said they did not want him to continue,” said Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer, representing much of Central Oregon in Congress.
Chavez-DeRemer was one of the 20 GOP House members consistently opposing Jordan.
“I was open minded, open hearted, open ears, certainly visited with Congressman Jordan throughout this process. And now we saw exactly what I had expected, that he wasn’t going to get there,” Chavez-DeRemer said.
“It’s messy. It’s not pretty. I wouldn’t tell you that it’s not embarrassing or not proud of it, but we have to get back to governing,” Chavez-DeRemer said of the process that has left the House unable to function.
The congresswoman did say she was in favor of a short-term solution of expanding the powers of Speaker pro tempore Patrick McHenry of North Carolina.
“I’m ready to move this ball. So if that was to expand his powers as the pro tem in order to do the daily work that we need to do, that’s what I was signaling today,” Chavez-DeRemer said.
That idea was swiftly rejected by Jordan’s own ultra-conservative allies and brushed back by McHenry himself.
Majority Leader Steve Scalise said Republicans would “start over” Monday. New nominees are to come forward for a candidate forum and internal party votes.
“I feel confident we will pick the next speaker of the House, hopefully on Tuesday,” Chavez-DeRemer said.
Hanging in the balance is funding from the U.S. to support ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Israel.
“Certainly we should be denouncing the horrors that we’re seeing from Hamas. Listen, they are our ally and we have to make sure that we’re supporting the Israeli people,” Chavez-DeRemer said.
There’s also a looming government shutdown in mid-November if Congress doesn’t get back to work.
“The frustration among Americans, among Oregonians has been real and we felt it,” Chavez-DeRemer said.
The congresswoman stopped short of saying she would support President Joe Biden’s push for $105 billion in funding for Israel, Ukraine, border security and more, noting she needed to see the language of the funding request first.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.