The House speakership is uncertain as opposition to Jim Jordan intensifies

Republican Jim Jordan, has lost the first vote in his quest to become Speaker of the US House of Representatives due to opposition from members of his own party that was more robust than anticipated.

Twenty Republicans refused to vote for the right-wing Ohio congressman despite intense lobbying efforts. Prior to Wednesday morning, the Trump ally abandoned plans for a second vote.

Since Kevin McCarthy's ouster in a right-wing coup two weeks ago, the House of Representatives has been without a Speaker. Without a leader, the House cannot pass any legislation or approve emergency assistance requests from the White House.

This includes potential assistance for Israel during its conflict with Hamas. Mr. Jordan received 200 votes on Tuesday's first ballot, but he needs 217 to win the position of Speaker.

New York's Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic nominee, received 212 more ballots than Mr. Jordan, but as the minority party in the House, this was insufficient. Mr. Jordan pledged to keep working and expressed confidence in his eventual success.

Mr. Jordan can afford to lose no more than four Republican votes in a chamber that his party controls by a margin of 221-201.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee initially stated that a second vote was scheduled for Tuesday, but subsequently announced that it would take place at 11:00 (15:00 GMT) on Wednesday.

Republicans who did not choose Mr. Jordan voted for Kevin McCarthy, the former Speaker who was expelled on 3 October, or other candidates. Three even voted for retiring New York congressman Lee Zeldin, who left office in January of this year.

Mr. Jordan has a history of feuding with fellow party members. He is a founding member of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus, a group that former Republican Speaker John Boehner once referred to as "legislative militants."

Ken Buck, a Republican from Colorado, stated that the Ohio congressman had not yet acknowledged the 2020 election loss of former President Donald Trump to Joe Biden.

Lori Chavez-DeRemer of Oregon, one of the anti-Jordan holdouts, proposed giving interim Speaker Patrick McHenry, a Republican from North Carolina, additional authority to enable the House to function during the impasse.

Democrats are portraying Mr. Jordan as an extremist in order to capitalize on Republican incompetence. Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat and two-time former Speaker, told sources that Mr. Jordan had grossly underestimated opposition to him.

In a news conference, the Democratic minority leader, Mr. Jeffries proposed to collaborate with Republicans in order to find a Speaker who would be acceptable to both parties.

In the past few days, there have been ongoing informal conversations, he stated. Now that it is evident that Jim Jordan does not have the required number of votes to become Speaker, there is a chance that these events will accelerate.

If support for Mr. Jordan collapses, Minnesota's Tom Emmer, the third-highest-ranking Republican in the House, would be the next potential candidate for Speaker.

Mr. McCarthy, the previous Speaker, was elected after 15 rounds of voting over four days in January.

The unprecedented decision that led to Mr. McCarthy's dismissal this month was influenced by the ferocious opposition to Ukraine war funding from Republican hardliners, including Mr. Jordan. The position of speaker is second in line to the presidency, following the vice president.