The race for the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives is becoming increasingly difficult for Rep. Jim Jordan. In a second ballot, the number of fellow Republicans voting against him rose to 22, up from 20 the previous day.

Jordan, who is an ally of former President Donald Trump and co-founder of the hardline House Freedom Caucus, can only afford to have four GOP lawmakers vote against him. As no Democrats have been supporting him, he needs a simple majority of 217 votes in the narrowly divided House, which consists of 221 Republicans and 212 Democrats.

Despite the challenges, one of Jordan’s supporters, GOP Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, remains confident. Perry expects fewer votes for Jordan on Wednesday but urges allies to stay strong.

According to Perry, this fight, which Jordan represents, aims to end the status quo, although it is not an easy task.

Meanwhile, with the House appearing rudderless, calls for GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina to take on the role of speaker permanently have been increasing. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board is among those making this suggestion.

To address the lack of leadership, Republican Rep. Dave Joyce of Ohio plans to introduce a resolution that would expand the interim speaker’s powers.

Analysts have expressed concerns that the ongoing process of selecting a leader is hindering the Republican-run House from addressing critical issues, such as preventing a government shutdown next month and offering support to Israel. It has been over two weeks since former Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted after securing the position through 15 rounds of voting in January.

As these developments unfold, U.S. stocks are declining on Wednesday. Treasury yields remain near 16-year highs, and traders are evaluating the situation in the Middle East.

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