Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, was unsuccessful in his second try to become speaker of the House on Wednesday after receiving insufficient support from his own party the day before.
Between the two ballots, 22 Republicans supported a variety of other candidates, giving Jordan a loss.
Twenty Republicans voted against Jordan on Tuesday, which was more than most politicians and pundits had predicted.
Every Democrat cast a vote for Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-New York, on both occasions.
Jordan’s defeat leaves the House without a speaker and unable to pass legislation in the midst of a Middle Eastern conflict and less than a month before the possibility of a government shutdown.
Allies of Jordan exerted enormous pressure on House members who were on the fence to support him in the first round.
Concerns have been voiced by lawmakers, including a number of moderates and those from swing districts, regarding Jordan’s conservatism, spending habits, and support of Donald Trump’s efforts to rig the 2020 election.
In addition, they claim they don’t want to reward Jordan’s hard-right backers after a minority removed former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and derailed the nomination of House Majority Leader Steve Scalise.
They have cast their opposition as a part of a larger fundamental struggle over control of the GOP party.