On Monday, Jim Jordan garnered support from several prominent skeptics at the Republican conference,
which boosted his candidacy for Speaker ahead of Tuesday’s floor vote. The Chairman of House Armed Services, Mike Rogers, and the Chairman of House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, Ken Calvert, both strong defense advocates, seemed to be among the most fatigued GOP figures.
They announced on Monday morning that they would support Jordan on the House floor. Meanwhile, Missouri Representative Ann Wagner, who had previously referred to Jordan as a “non-starter” for Speaker last week, said on Monday that she would also support him, just like Florida’s Vern Buchanan, another former holdout.
Jim Jordan stated, Jim Jordan and I had a thorough discussion once more this morning, and they have provided me with assurances on the issues I raised, including transparency in government, robust border security,
and our requirement for consistent policies international support during times of conflict and unrest, and the necessity of strong security against human trafficking and child exploitation. Jim Jordan is one of our conference’s nominated individuals, and I will support his nomination for Speaker in the House.
Despite the additional support, Jim Jordan still faces an uphill battle to become Speaker. If every member votes, he can only afford to lose four Republican votes, as electing a Speaker requires a majority of the full House.
On Monday evening, the GOP conference meeting saw several Republicans express their opposition to Jordan, including Nebraska Representative Don Bacon, Florida’s Mario Diaz-Balart, and Colorado’s Ken Buck.
Jordan told CNN that he would go to the House floor for the Speaker vote on Tuesday afternoon, whether he has locked votes or not. When asked on Monday whether he had the necessary votes, Jordan stated, “I hope so. I think so.”
If Jordan manages to secure enough votes to become Speaker on Tuesday, it would bring an end to two weeks of chaos and unprecedented uncertainty in the House after McCarthy’s ousting. Without a Speaker, the House remains incapable of passing legislation, despite international crises and a month-long government shutdown on the horizon,
though some members have considered appointing Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina Republican, as interim Speaker after Kevin McCarthy’s removal.
But if Jordan falls short of winning the floor vote on Tuesday, the Republicans will return to square one, leaving the House in legislative limbo without a Speaker.
Last week, 55 Republicans voted against pledging their support for Jordan in a vote inside the GOP conference. Following this, Ohio Republicans sent the conference home for the weekend, stating that they had planned to speak with members individually.
In the midst of this, GOP activists attacked those who were opposing Jordan, arguing that it would strengthen House Democrats.
Jordan and his allies want to flip the holdouts
On Sunday, a senior member of the Republican House told CNN that he still believes there are approximately 40 “no” votes and that he had spoken to about 20 members interested in blocking Jordan’s path in a potential roll-call vote on Tuesday.
However, another familiar GOP source cautioned that it’s difficult to say anything definitive until the vote begins. Jordan is confident that he has had positive discussions with members and believes he will be elected Speaker by Tuesday evening.
Jordan’s allies believe they can convince the holdouts to change their minds before Tuesday, though one source warned that it’s challenging to say anything for certain until the vote begins. If Jordan has around 20 or fewer holdouts, he may be able to push it through on the floor, much like McCarthy.
Allies contend that privately voting against Jordan in the closed-door meeting is one thing, but voting against him in the House is a different matter.
On Monday, McCarty told CNN, “Yes,” he believes Jordan will be able to bring it to the floor in the House when asked about Jordan’s prospects in the Speaker’s office.
Strategy comes into play because there is still serious work to be done. Bacon told CNN on Sunday that he spoke to Jordan and told him he still wouldn’t back him. The reasons he listed include Jordan’s vote against the short-term spending bill and a broader sense that a handful of members have been controlling every step of the conference for months.
Bacon said, “I can’t overlook the fact that a small group in our conference violated the rules to get rid of Kevin and then blocked Steve,”. You can’t have a situation where I adhere to the regulations while others don’t, and subsequently, they achieve their desires.
Bacon also told Jordan that if he does end up getting elected, he won’t have his support, saying that he won’t work like a Republican representative. Florida’s Matt Gaetz had also criticized McCarthy.
Other members say they’re still considering their options, but another holdout warned that if Jordan’s allies try to strong-arm members into voting “yes,” they should think twice, cautioning that it could backfire.
Another senior GOP aide told CNN that recent steps taken in the past weekend have had the wrong impact on members. The insider disclosed an email from Sean Hannity, a Fox News producer, in which he responded to inquiries about Jordan’s relationship with his supervisor.
In his outreach to the GOP conference, Jordan penned a “Dear Colleague” missive on Monday, encouraging party members to unite within the assembly.
He penned the message, saying, “At this moment, it’s imperative that we refrain from targeting one another, for the sake of our nation and our party. The moment has arrived for us to unite as fellow Americans, working for the welfare of the constituents we serve.
The hope is that doors behind closed doors will reopen on Monday evening in time for the Republican conference to come together.
If Jordan wins the vote, his election as Speaker will be at a time when his supporters blocked the path to the Speaker’s office for Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
While Jordan said he will support Scalise, more than a dozen of his backers refused to support the majority leader, as they denied support in a conference vote last week when Scalise was nominated to be the majority leader, following McCarthy’s ousting.