Jim Jordan pushes forward on Speaker vote

October 20, 2023

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) held a news conference on Friday morning to press his case for continuing to run for House Speaker, saying Congress needs to “get to work for the American people.”

“I think the American people are thirsty for change. I think they are hungry for leadership. And frankly they know that the White House can’t provide it,” Jordan said. “They know the Senate won’t lead. And they are looking for house Republicans to step up and lead and make change on these important issues. We’ve got important work to do.” 

Among the “important work” he said Congress needed to undertake was border security, crime fighting and getting Israel the help it needs to fight its war against Hamas. Jordan did not mention Ukraine during his news conference. 

Jordan has already lost two rounds of voting in the House for the Speaker’s gavel this week. And in fact, two more Republicans voted against him in the second round on Wednesday than did on Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, there are reports that the number of House Republicans opposed to approving Jordon for the lower chamber’s leading position has only grown—in part because of a hardball pressure campaign Jordan undertook, as well as violent threats that GOP lawmakers and their families have been subjected to by random people who apparently support Jordan.

Nearly two dozen Republicans voted for other GOP lawmakers during each of the first two rounds of voting, while all 212 House Democrats voted en mass for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), as they would almost certainly do during a third round of ballots.

When a reporter on Friday asked Jordan what his path was to securing the 217 votes he’d need from House Republicans—just four fewer than are in the entire caucus, Jordan responded, “Look, there’s been multiple rounds of votes for Speaker before—we all know that. I just know that we need to get a Speaker as soon as possible so we can get to work for the American people. ”

On Thursday, a proposal to give more powers to Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-NC) for a limited time period, which Jordan had backed in order to give himself more time to build GOP support for himself, was scrapped amid party opposition to the plan.

House Republicans have been under pressure to move quickly to choose a new leader from members of their own party in the Senate amid a looming deadline to pass a federal budget for fiscal year 2024 and avoid a government shutdown in mid-November, as well as calls to approve appropriations for additional military aid to Israel and Ukraine.

On Thursday evening President Biden proposed a a $100 billion emergency national security spending package that would include aid for Israel and Ukraine. 

A reporter asked Jordan about the President’s request. He replied, “You’re making the case for why we need to keep the House open, so we can evaluate the package. We can’t do that, we can’t vote on that, we can’t pass anything until we get the House open. I’ve got to see the package, but we certainly gotta help Israel.”

Again, he did not mention Ukraine in his answer.

A third round vote for Speaker was scheduled for at 10am ET Friday.

PHOTO: Jim Jordan news conference, Friday

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