Skip to content

Jordan holdouts in open revolt ahead of Wednesday speaker vote

Vote count bodes ill for Ohio Republican, who vows to ‘keep working’

Rep. Jim Jordan speaks to reporters as he leaves a meeting in House Majority Whip Tom Emmer’s office in the Capitol on Tuesday.
Rep. Jim Jordan speaks to reporters as he leaves a meeting in House Majority Whip Tom Emmer’s office in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans on the House’s elite panel overseeing government funding, among others, appeared to be in an all-out rebellion against a potential Jim Jordan speakership on Tuesday afternoon while the Ohio Republican’s allies huddled behind closed doors to plot strategy.

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a senior appropriator from Florida, released a letter just before 4 p.m. urging leadership to immediately hold a second speaker vote on Tuesday before Jordan, R-Ohio, could consolidate additional support. Earlier in the afternoon, 20 GOP lawmakers opposed Jordan on the first ballot.

Regardless of the push by Jordan critics, after a meeting in Majority Whip Tom Emmer’s office on Tuesday afternoon Jordan said the next vote would be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday. That would likely give enough time for Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., to return to Washington after an absence Tuesday afternoon and likely pad Jordan’s tally.

“I’ve had great conversations, great discussions with our colleagues. Frankly, no one in our conference wants to see any type of coalition government with Democrats,” Jordan told reporters. “So we’re going to keep working, and we’re going to get to the votes.”

Appropriations Chairwoman Kay Granger, R-Texas, and senior committee members Steve Womack, R-Ark., and Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, earlier had reposted Diaz-Balart’s message on X, previously known as Twitter, urging Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., to call the next vote immediately. All four had voted for Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., instead of Jordan in the first ballot vote.

Diaz-Balart told reporters earlier that he would not be pressured or intimidated into changing his vote.

“I have no intention of moving,” he said. “I have been transparent from day one.”

Granger and Womack didn’t comment on their votes to reporters when they left the House floor.

Another Appropriations Republican, Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington, was also among lawmakers who boosted Diaz-Balart’s message on X, even though he voted for Jordan on the first ballot. And Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa, a Jordan backer on the first ballot, lent her support on X as well.

Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., who voted for Scalise, is another GOP appropriator who posted his support for Diaz-Balart’s letter. Rep. Jake Ellzey, R-Texas, another Appropriations panel member, voted for Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif., on the first round; he, too, backed Diaz-Balart’s effort.

While Jordan won over some defense hawks earlier this week, it appeared distrust in his spending plans was more widespread.

Another Jordan opponent who boosted Diaz-Balart’s call for a vote, Virginia freshman Jen Kiggans, cited concerns on Tuesday about Jordan’s government funding plans, including that he might steer the House into a shutdown or trigger a 1 percent automatic cut to appropriations next spring that would hit the defense budget.

High mountain

Twenty opponents was already a high mountain for Jordan to climb. Those detractors appeared ready to show a willingness to go to the mat against the House Freedom Caucus founder, even though many are more reliable party votes who rarely make such stands.

Reps. Carlos Gimenez of Florida, John James of Michigan, Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, Don Bacon of Nebraska and Nick LaLota of New York were also among Republicans who voted against Jordan and boosted Diaz-Balart’s call for a quick second vote.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, left, speaks with Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., during the vote to elect a new speaker in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A trio of Long Island Republicans appeared to be working together and have additional, district-specific demands beyond some of their colleagues. LaLota posted a photo of his priorities on X, saying he would withhold his support for a speaker without reliable commitments on those issues. They included keeping the government open while cutting spending, opposition to the $10,000 cap on deducting state and local taxes, compensation for victims of the Sept. 11 attacks and flood insurance.

Still, Jordan was working to gain votes and had won over at least one holdout as of Tuesday afternoon.

Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., said in a statement that he’d spoken with Jordan and committed to support him on future ballots. He said his first-ballot vote was done with the consideration that Jordan was short on votes anyway and was meant as a protest against the treatment of fellow Californian Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted from the speaker job two weeks ago.

At least one of Jordan’s allies projected confidence, though he wouldn’t say how many votes he believed Jordan had swayed.

“We’ve seen movement already and we’re encouraged by the progress,” Ohio Rep. Warren Davidson said during a break in the meeting with Jordan and others in Emmer’s office.

Mary Ellen McEntire, Aidan Quigley, David Lerman and Paul M. Krawzak contributed to this report.

Recent Stories

Former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, first woman on the Supreme Court, dies at 93

Members want $26 billion for programs the Pentagon didn’t seek

Expelling bee — Congressional Hits and Misses

Appeals court rejects Trump push to dismiss Jan. 6 suits from lawmakers, police

Photos of the week ending December 1, 2023

House expels Rep. George Santos