House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) inched closer to becoming the 56th speaker of the House on Monday after flipping five moderate GOP members in the past 24 hours who were previously holdouts.
Opposition to Jordan “is crumbling as Republicans return to Washington for a House vote to try to officially elect him,” the Hill reported Monday.
“Jim Jordan and I have had two cordial, thoughtful, and productive conversations over the past two days,” former anti-Jordan holdout Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Al.) wrote on X. “We agreed on the need for Congress to pass a strong NDAA, appropriations to fund our government’s vital functions, and other important legislation like the Farm Bill.”
As a result, I have decided to support Jim Jordan for Speaker of the House on the floor. Since I was first elected to the House, I have always been a team player and supported what the majority of the Republican Conference agrees to. Together, our Republican majority will be stronger to fight Joe Biden’s reckless agenda for America.
Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) also announced Monday that she would back Jordan for speaker.
“Jim Jordan and I spoke at length again this morning, and he has allayed my concerns about keeping the government open with conservative funding, the need for strong border security, our need for consistent international support in times of war and unrest as well as the need for stronger protections against the scourge of human trafficking and child exploitation,” Wagner wrote on X. “Jim Jordan is our conference nominee, and I will support his nomination for Speaker on the House floor.”
Another holdout, Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), said that after speaking with Jordan he felt confident the conservative firebrand would help keep America safe.
“After having a conversation with Jim Jordan about how we must get the House back on a path to achieve our national security and appropriations goals, I will be supporting him for Speaker on the floor. Let’s get to work,” Calvert wrote on X.
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), a Scalise ally, said Monday afternoon that he “had a very productive conversation” with Jordan and would back him on the House floor.
“Just received a call from @Jim_Jordan and had a very productive conservation. I informed him that I will be offering my support on the House floor. While I have always said that Jim is a good friend, I am deeply frustrated by the way this process has played out,” Buchanan wrote on X.
“However, I believe the future and immediate well-being and security of our country is too important and the need for Republicans to move forward united is greater than ever,” he added in a subsequent post on X.
Rep Drew Ferguson of Georgia is the latest GOP holdout to throw his support behind Jordan:
I’ll be voting for Jim Jordan on the House floor tomorrow.
— Congressman Drew Ferguson (@RepDrewFerguson) October 16, 2023
Jordan on Monday confirmed that the House will hold a floor vote for Speaker at noon on Tuesday regardless of whether he has the 217 votes he needs.
“We will go to the floor tomorrow,” Jordan told CNN. “It’s not about pressuring anybody. It’s just about, we’ve got to have a Speaker.”
He added: “You can’t open the House and do the work of the American people and help our dearest and closest friend Israel if you don’t have a Speaker.”
When asked On “Fox and Friends” if he thinks Jordan will have the votes on Tuesday, McCarthy indicated that he did.
“ I feel very good about where Jim Jordan is at,” McCarthy said. “He—he has been an integral part of—of our team when we took the majority, helping us get the majority.”
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said in a separate interview Monday that he believes Jordan still has a ways to go.
“My gut tells me we’re somewhere south of 10 who are still being recalcitrant,” Roy told conservative radio host Erik Erikson when asked about the latest developments.
Despite former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s endorsement of Jordan, Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Florida continues to pledge his support only for McCarthy for House speaker.
Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.), an appropriator and Scalise ally, meanwhile, is keeping his cards close to his vest.
In an interview with CNN Monday, Womack declined to say whether he will vote for Jordan for Speaker when his nomination hits the House floor on Tuesday.
“You’ll know how I vote when I vote,” Womack said.
“My understanding is there is a chance that we’re going to be voting on this at noon tomorrow. If that’s the case then we’re gonna know what the vote count is at that time with certainty, and then Mr. Jordan will know whether or not he’s got, he’ll either have the votes or he’ll at least know by roll call who he needs to go work on to try to shore up hat 217,” he said.
The Arkansas Republican added, “I know there are concerns from the appropriations committee,” pointing to Jordan’s vote against a continuing resolution that averted a government shutdown, adding that the Ohio Republican “in essence voted for a government shutdown.”
“I know that concerns a lot of appropriators,” he added. “We’re concerned about the numbers that we are being told to write our bills to.”
Other GOP holdouts include Don Bacon (Neb.), Tom Cole (Okla.), Mario Díaz-Balart (Fla.), Frank Lucas (Okla.), John Rutherford (Fla.), Mike Simpson (Id.), and Rob Wittman (Va.).
Jordan sent a letter to his GOP colleagues on Monday, saying it’s time for them to unify against Democrats.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) October 16, 2023
Jordan can only afford to lose four Republicans in a House floor vote.
As of 7:38 Tuesday morning, there were still five “firm no’s” ahead of the floor vote Tuesday, according to CNN’s Annie Grayer.
Ahead of speaker vote:
Mario Diaz Balart
Tom Kean Jr
— Annie Grayer (@AnnieGrayerCNN) October 17, 2023
However, key Republicans remain optimistic:
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) October 17, 2023
Speaker Jordan Day! pic.twitter.com/LHjHiW3MQe
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) October 17, 2023
Jordan lost the House speaker vote by a wider margin than expected in the first round of voting Tuesday. Only 200 Republicans voted for the Ohio congressman, well below the 217 threshold. Democrats unified behind Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, (D-NY) giving him 212 votes and the remaining 20 Republicans split their votes between McCarthy and Scalise, neither of whom were on the ballot.
Below is the list of moderate Republicans who voted against Jordan:
Jordan said yesterday that he would like the House to keep voting Tuesday until it chooses a speaker.