Jim Jordan, after 20 GOP Defections, is Fighting for his Speaker’s Role after Putting his Speech at Risk For Votes

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Jordan’s opponents included eight votes in favor of McCarthy, seven for Majority Leader Steve Scalise, and three for former GOP Representative Lee Zeldin of New York. In a recent political development, Conservative Republican Representative Jim Jordan withdrew his vote for the Speaker on Tuesday evening. This decision came as more than 20 Republicans behind closed doors attempted to secure votes for an alternative Speaker. These were the same Republicans who had voted against Jordan on the first day.

Jim Jordan has now scheduled a new vote for the Speaker on Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. ET. Ohio Republicans and their allies are hopeful that, despite strong opposition, they can gather more support. During the Speaker’s vote on Tuesday, Jordan faced opposition from the House GOP, specifically from the side of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

This opposition led to the removal of Representative Liz Cheney from her leadership role approximately two weeks later. Jordan’s allies had hoped for a stronger show of support, but they were disappointed as they had expected a more significant holdout.

Among the 20 Republicans who voted against Jordan were notable figures such as Representative Kay Granger from Texas, Representative Mario Diaz-Balart from Florida, Representative Ken Buck from Colorado, and a group of New York Republicans in competitive districts.

Jordan Faces Multifaceted Opposition as Speaker Elections Continue

Jordan’s opposition comes from various factions within the Republican party. Centrist Republicans are concerned that the face of the House GOP will become more staunchly conservative. Additionally, congressional Republicans remain upset with a small group of Republicans who forcefully removed McCarthy from leadership and later opposed Scalise’s nomination for Speaker. This initial defeat was a blow to Jordan’s chances, with the vote tallying at 113 to 99.

The House’s specialized committee, which has been fighting against Jordan’s opposition to spending increases for years, voted against him. Jordan can afford to lose only four GOP votes. The slim margin in the House previously led to the removal of McCarthy from power, at the hands of eight GOP rebels. Now, a similarly sized group of House Republicans could potentially block Jordan’s ascent.

After the first vote, the House recessed, and Jordan and Speaker-elect Jim Clyburn discussed changes between the Speaker’s office and the majority whip’s office. Jordan then announced that the next vote would take place on Wednesday. We’re moving forward and making headway. I’m optimistic about our progress, and we’ll continue to push for it,” Jordan stated on Tuesday afternoon.”I had a productive talk with my fellow lawmakers, and we had a constructive discussion.

One of Jordan’s meetings included a discussion with Steve Scalise. Before the first vote, Jordan suggested that the majority leader could propose a name on the floor. “We are making progress, and I feel positive about it,” Jordan stated on Tuesday. “We will continue with our efforts.”Jordan’s meetings included one with Scalise. Before the first vote, Jordan had asked majority leaders to propose an alternative candidate, but a spokesperson for Scalise informed them that they would not make such a commitment.

Scalise’s spokesperson clarified that they continued to support Jordan throughout the entire process. Several Republican holdouts openly expressed their willingness to change their votes, with one even saying that they would support Ohio Republicans on the next ballot. However, many of Jordan’s opponents remain unswayed.

In January, 19 Republicans initially voted for McCarthy as Speaker before they eventually secured a majority. Jordan has not indicated how long he plans to continue pressing for the Speaker’s position. Jordan and his allies perceived significant progress in recent days. Ohio Republicans systematically approached wavering lawmakers one by one, while their counterparts outside Congress issued threats, warning of potential political consequences if they aligned with a Trump-backed candidate. This all played into the dynamics of the GOP.

Until the Speaker is elected, the chamber remains in limbo, with limited legislative activity, such as Israel’s additional military aid or government funding – jeopardized by McCarthy’s eight-week stopgap spending package, which he introduced in opposition to Jordan’s moves. The extended impasse has intensified discussions between Republicans and Democrats about potentially empowering the Speaker temporarily if Jordan faces another defeat on the second ballot, though significant hurdles remain in such a course of action.

Jordan Attempts to Sway the Opposition

Jordan attempts to sway the opposition

In the next vote, at least one of Jordan’s opponents says he will switch sides: GOP Representative Doug LaMalfa of California, a former McCarthy ally who initially voted for McCarthy, told reporters that he would vote for Jordan on the second ballot.

“I’m not against him,” LaMalfa said about Jordan. “I was with McCarthy all the time, and I thought this whole process was becoming nasty. What has happened with it, and some of the things that have stopped, so I’m voting for Jim Jordan because he’s a good guy. He’s done good work on committees, and we need to move forward with that position today, and get our work done.”

Michigan GOP Representative John James, who voted for Ohio Representative Tim Jordan in the Speaker election, said he is willing to support Jordan in the future rounds of voting and intends to talk to him later. I’m currently talking to Jim Jordan over the phone, and we’re actively collaborating on it,” James explained.

However, multiple Republicans said they remained unmoved. Following the initial vote, several of Jordan’s opponents in the House demanded an immediate re-vote on the Speaker position. Florida GOP Representative Carlos Gimenez, who voted for McCarthy, said he would not vote for Jordan at any time but would consider voting for alternative candidates.“I won’t be involved in the rebellion,” Gimenez stated.

Florida Representative John Rutherford also hinted that he would align with Scalise and believes the party should seek a consensus candidate like Representative Patrick McHenry for the Speaker position. I believe it’s time to find a candidate that everyone can agree on,” he suggested. “I’m kind of like Patrick McHenry.”Nebraska Representative Dan Bacon told reporters on Monday that he would oppose Jordan because “they can’t get over the fact that in our conference, a small group violated the rules, and then blocked Steve.”

Centrist New York Republicans Secretly Deliberated Speaker Votes to Influence GOP Majority

A group of centrist New York Republicans – a pivotal block in the House responsible for helping the GOP gain the majority – privately swapped their Speaker votes for several weeks, engaged in discussions with one another, weighed the value of voting together as a block, and deliberated voting as a bloc, sources told.

As they debated whether to support Jordan, one recurring concern that gave them pause was Jordan’s previous votes against crucial New York initiatives. He voted against providing aid for Superstorm Sandy and against funding for 9/11 health care for first responders. But they didn’t make a final decision on how they would vote until Tuesday morning, sources said. Four voted against Jordan.

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