House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, continues to garner support for the speakership, even as some lawmakers voiced opposition during a Monday night GOP conference meeting.
A prominent moderate, freshman Rep. Juan Ciscomani, R-Ariz., stated on Tuesday morning that he plans to back Jordan, despite expressing uncertainty the night before.
The House is set to vote for a new speaker at noon today, following the historic removal of ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy two weeks ago.
On Monday, Jordan secured a significant victory when Armed Services Chairman Mike Rogers of Alabama, a mainstream conservative, shifted from strongly opposing Jordan’s speaker candidacy to supporting it.
Another notable victory outside Jordan’s usual support base was Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Calif., representing a swing district, declaring his support for Jordan. Moderate Rep. Marc Molinaro, R-N.Y., also endorsed him.
However, some moderates like Reps. Don Bacon, R-Neb., and Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., were firmly against Jordan as of Tuesday morning. Others, including Reps. Jen Kiggans, R-Va., Anthony D’Esposito, R-N.Y., and Nick LaLota, R-N.Y., have remained silent on the matter.
To secure the gavel, Jordan can’t afford to lose more than four GOP votes, assuming full House attendance. As of Tuesday morning, it appears that his opposition numbers exceed this limit. Nonetheless, Jordan has expressed his intention to persevere through multiple rounds.
This comes after visibly fatigued House Republicans left a closed-door meeting on Monday night, determined to proceed with the vote despite ongoing opposition to Jordan.
Representative Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., stated, “If Jim Jordan can’t get through, Jesus can’t. So we better figure this out.” He emphasized the importance of adhering to House rules in selecting a leader.
Representative Andy Barr, R-Ky., voiced confusion regarding the idea that only one person could be an effective speaker. He argued against the notion that supporting a different candidate should preclude support for another’s choice.
Jordan had secured the House Republican nomination for speaker in a closed-door, anonymous vote on Friday. However, at that time, at least 55 GOP lawmakers had not committed to voting for him on the House floor.
While Jordan has reduced this number significantly, the remaining opposition is more vocal and explicit in their concerns about his candidacy following last week’s secret ballot. This opposition could pose a challenge given the House GOP’s narrow majority.
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Jordan, speaking on Monday night, expressed his confidence, saying, “I felt good walking into the conference, I feel even better now.”
Nevertheless, some members expressed frustration with the process and suggested that they might oppose Jordan on Tuesday. This followed allegations that Jordan and his allies had pressured those still undecided over the weekend.
Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., stated that he would be voting for Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., at least in the first-round vote, and criticized those attempting to pressure him.
Representative Mike Kelly, R-Pa., expressed his support for Scalise and frustration at the attempt to change the speaker candidate.
Representative Don Bacon, R-Neb., indicated his inclination to vote for McCarthy, citing dissatisfaction with the pressure exerted by Jordan and his supporters.
Representative Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., maintained his support for McCarthy, while Representative Ken Buck, R-Colo., expressed the need for further discussion regarding Jordan’s stance on the 2020 election results and his alleged role in January 6.
A GOP lawmaker mentioned that Jordan might need multiple rounds to secure the majority required to become the speaker but expressed confidence in his ability to do so, given the backing of influential figures.