Jordan's second round failure could mean the end of his speakership campaign

Plus, the collateral damage of RFK Jr.'s anti-vax crusade.


Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) once again failed to be elected to the speakership after a second round of voting today. Yesterday, the longtime Trump ally was unable to secure support from 20 of his fellow Republicans. And today, an additional two voted against him. 


Jordan said that he will not cease his pursuit of the speaker’s gavel: "We picked up some today, a couple dropped off, but they voted for me before. I think they can come back again,” Jordan said following the vote. “So we'll keep talking to members and keep working on it." He also rejected calls to renew the temporary Speakership of Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), whose tenure as Speaker Pro Tempore will expire on Nov. 17. 

Despite Jordan’s failures, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) praised the Ohio congressman and argued his interest in slashing funding to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid would make him an ideal speaker. 

“But unlike any other speaker we've had, he's had the courage to talk about a long term plan, and to get at the real drivers of debt, and we all know what they are,” Cole said. “We all know what: Social Security. We all know it's Medicare. We all know it's Medicaid.”

“No president of either side has been willing to deal with this. No speaker of either side has been willing to deal with this … This is the guy that wants to create a debt commission, a bipartisan debt commission and get at the roots of our spending problem. That takes courage,” he added.

A new report by the Associated Press today found that one-time Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr’s campaign against the COVID-19 vaccination has exploited the deaths of children, disrupted public health initiatives and encouraged the harassment of elected officials. Kennedy, who is now running as an independent, had been long known in politics for his work as a “vaccine skeptic” before he sought the highest office in the land. Particularly, the now-disowned Kennedy scion became notorious for spreading the unfounded belief that vaccines can cause autism. 

But now, Kennedy and his allies have ramped up efforts to associate the deaths of young people with the COVID-19 vaccine. The Children's Health Defense, RFK Jr.’s anti-vax nonprofit, recently published a book called “Cause Unknown” that “is built on the false premise that sudden deaths of young, healthy people are spiking,” according to the AP. 

“Experts say these rare medical emergencies are not new and have not become more prevalent.”

This conspiracy has involved extracting ad hoc examples of tragic deaths, like that of Braden Fahey, a 12-year-old boy from California who died suddenly at football practice last year due to a malformed blood vessel. Kennedy’s organization then used Fahey’s visage on the cover of “Cause Unknown,” much to the dismay of the child’s family. They received backlash from strangers who blamed them for vaccinating their child, even though Fahey was not vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Despite the Fahey’s insistence that their son’s face be removed from the cover, neither the book’s publisher nor Kennedy have responded to their demands. “It’s very manipulative. And you know, he’s making money off of our tragedies,” Gina Fahey, Braden’s mother, told the AP. 

“How could you want somebody running our country that operates like that?”

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Jamie Larson