Third Time Not the Charm for Jim Jordan
WASHINGTON — Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, failed for a third time to secure enough Republican votes to become the speaker of the House on Friday, as even more members of his party appeared to abandon him.
In the end the final tally of votes was 210 for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., two fewer than he received earlier in the week due to the absence of two members of his conference, and 194 votes for Jordan, his lowest tally so far, with 25 members of the GOP conference voting against him.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., received eight votes, Speaker Pro Tem Patrick McHenry got six votes, Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., got four votes, while former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., both got two votes.
Reps. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., and Mike Garcia, R-Calif., each got one vote, as did House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn.
The House immediately recessed, subject to the call of the chair, and the House Republican Conference called a meeting at 1 p.m. at which it was said to be considering a vote on whether Jordan should continue to be its nominee.
Meanwhile, a new twist emerged Friday as all eight Republicans who voted to remove McCarthy from the speakership circulated a letter in which they said they’d be willing to accept “censure, suspension or removal from the conference” in order to elect Jordan speaker.
“The recent passage of the motion to vacate the speaker has caused rancor, hurt feelings and acrimony in the House Republican Conference,” they wrote. “While we stand by our actions, it is our goal to proceed forward with our colleagues, our teammates, our fellow Republicans in a manner that embraces reconciliation.
“If the holdouts who refuse to vote for Speaker-designate Jim Jordan would be willing to ‘vote with the team’ and elect him the 56th House speaker, we are prepared to accept censure, suspension, or removal from the conference to accomplish this objective,” the members said.
The letter was signed by Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Bob Good, R-Va., Nancy Mace, R-S.C., Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Ken Buck, R-Colo., Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., and Eli Crane, R-Ariz.
Jeffries revealed during a briefing with reporters after the vote that talks among members of Republican and Democratic conferences have been going on all week and he expected those conversations to intensify today.
Jeffries went on to say that while he has not been engaged in those conversations directly, he has been briefed on every one.
He then went on to say that there seems to be movement towards reaching some kind of “enlightened agreement” to reopen the House.
“Because our Republican colleagues understand that they have to find a way out of this GOP chaos and GOP dysfunction and this GOP extremism,” he said. “They know this Republican civil war is bad for their conference, but more importantly, they know it’s bad for Congress, bad for our country and bad for the communities that all of us took an oath to fiercely represent.”
Jeffries also said that the conversations he’s been informed of with Republicans involved “different parts of the House Republican Conference” that have rejected “the extremism of Jim Jordan.”
“Hopefully, the conversations will continue to intensify today, continue, perhaps through the weekend, so that we can get to a place where we can reopen the House no later than Monday of next week,” he said.