Rep. Jim Jordan will continue to pursue the speaker of the House role despite failing to earn enough support during floor votes on Tuesday and Wednesday.
There are two vacancies right now in the House, meaning 217 is the magic number, which remains elusive for Jordan.
If Jordan can't get the necessary number of votes and decides to drop out, other lawmakers could be elevated to the leadership role.
Former speaker Kevin McCarthy has even been suggested. He was removed from the job two weeks ago. Others have hinted that current speaker pro tem Patrick McHenry should be given at least more power so some bills can pass.
Meanwhile, the idea of a unity candidate has gained some traction.
The continued divide over who will be the speaker is coming at a critical time.
Issue No. 1 for the country: Assistance to Israel. President Biden's visit to Tel Aviv Wednesday is putting pressure on Congress to act. While Israel doesn't necessarily need the help right away, the White House has signaled it will soon. Without a speaker, Congress cannot pass an foreign aid bill.
Issue No. 2: Avoiding a government shutdown. The deal to keep the government open at the end of September only lasts until November 17. Just like aid to Israel, Congress can't avoid a shutdown without a speaker.
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