Several Republican lawmakers emerged from Monday night’s House GOP conference meeting saying that they won’t vote for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on the eve of his speakership election.
Jordan, 59, came out of the meeting confident that a vote on the full House floor will indeed take place Tuesday, and that he will be elected speaker of the House — despite at least six GOP lawmakers still opposed to his nomination and others undecided.
“We need to get a speaker tomorrow,” Jordan told reporters after the meeting. “The American people deserve to have their Congress, their House of Representatives, working, and you can’t have that happen until you get a speaker, so we need to do that.”
“I felt good walking into the conference. I feel even better now,” the House Judiciary Committee chairman added. “We got a few more people we want to talk to, listen to, and then we’ll have a vote tomorrow.”
Reps. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) plan to back House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), who initially edged out Jordan in a tight 113 to 99 closed-door vote to be the speaker-nominee but dropped out of the race last week after failing to lock down more support.
“I’m gonna vote the way I voted the first time, the first election we had,” Kelly told reporters Monday. “Integrity is the most important thing that all of us have. There’s nothing more important than that. When I see what’s going on in that conference, and understand that we had an election, and we elected somebody, and because people in that conference didn’t agree with the election, ‘no, no, no, we’ve got a stop it all now, and we’ve got to have another election.’ The real man in the room is Steve Scalise.”
Diaz-Balart expressed displeasure at Jordan’s apparent pressure strategy to put holdouts on the spot Tuesday despite lacking unanimous support from the conference.
“A little bit of advice if anybody is trying to get my vote,” Díaz-Balart told reporters. “The last thing you want to do is try to pressure me because then I close out entirely.”
“If folks think that they can pressure me, that’s where they lose me,” he added.
Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.), who has vowed to back former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) over Jordan on the House floor, said “no,” when asked after Monday’s meeting if his mind was changed.
Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY), reportedly the last House lawmaker to leave Monday’s conference meeting with Jordan, has also indicated that he’ll vote for McCarthy, telling CNN host Jake Tapper that he informed the Ohio Republican that he’s not a “hell no,” but that, “unless you have the votes, you know, I’m not going to be there.”
Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) is still a no on Jordan after Monday’s meeting as well, tweeting, “I’m not budging. I’m a five-time commander and deployed to Middle-East four times. I’ll do what is best for country.”
Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) indicated that he currently doesn’t support Jordan but is “open-minded.”
“We’re gonna meet and I am a no right now but I told him I would be open-minded to having that conversation,” Buck, who reportedly wants to know whether the Trump-endorsed Jordan accepts that President Biden legitimately won the 2020 election, told reporters.
Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) said she’d only vote for Jordan Tuesday if her vote is the deciding one.
“If he doesn’t have 217, the best I can do is maybe vote present..I’m okay to be 217, but if he has 210, I’m not going to be 211,” Spartz said.
Despite the holdouts, House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) declared after the GOP conference meeting that “Jim Jordan will be our speaker.”
Jordan reportedly pitched centrist lawmakers on the fact that he was “amenable” to linking funding for Israel’s war against Hamas terrorist to Ukraine aid, according to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas).
“He was open to the fact of joining both Ukraine aid to Israeli funding, which is absolutely necessary,” McCaul told CNN.
Four House Republicans similarly told Axios that their takeaway from the meeting was that Jordan would at least allow a floor vote on tying Ukraine funding with money for Israel.
“We need to make sure Israel has the resources they need to win — and win decisively,” Jordan, who has voted against most aid packages to Ukraine, told reporters.
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