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Update: Jim Jordan Loses the First House Vote for Speaker

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | October 17, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | October 17, 2023 |


2:10: The House has not yet scheduled a second vote. It’s unclear if Jim Jordan can win over the centrists, although he has apparently won over one Representative. Also, Ken Buck is catty, and I love it.

Post by @aaron.rupar
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1:45: The final vote is Hakeem Jeffries 212, Jim Jordan 200, and 20 votes for someone else other than Jim Jordan. (Kevin McCarthy was down only 19 votes after the first vote).

1:25: It’s unclear if there will be more votes today, but in the first, there have already been 13 GOP votes against Rep. Jim Jordan for Speaker of the House, as of 1:25 p.m. (they were through the Ns in the alphabet). It’s unclear if Jordan will pull out or if there will be additional ballots.

He really thought he had it, didn’t he? Are we about to embark on another 15-ballot vote?

Original Article:

Last week, after Steve Scalise dropped out when he couldn’t secure the votes necessary to become the Speaker of the House, Jim Jordan — who had received fewer votes than Scalise — managed to secure the nomination despite considerable opposition. When the House left for recess last week, there were about 55 people who said they would not vote for Jim Jordan as Speaker, and several of them were adamant that they would not, under any circumstance, vote in Jordan.

As of this morning, there may be five holdouts remaining. They may fold, too, ahead of a possible vote today for Speaker.

What happened?

Jim Jordan went full-Trump on the holdouts. Jordan may not be particularly popular among House Republicans, but he is popular among the MAGA base, and he has the backing of Donald Trump. Essentially, Jim Jordan threatened to do exactly what Donald Trump did in 2018, 2020, and 2022: Support a primary opponent to anyone who opposes him.

The MAGA base controls the GOP. They may not have enough power to get Republicans elected in toss-up districts, but they have enough power to determine who is the nominee. Jim Jordan threatened to effectively end the political careers of holdouts, and he can do it, too. House Armed Services Committee Chair Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Steve Scalise loyalist, Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), both came around after telling the press last week that they would not vote for Jordan under any circumstances.

Jordan also recruited Sean Hannity to the cause. Hannity, who has no ethical qualms about effecting outcomes in the Republican party, sent out the following email to holdouts:

Screen Shot 2023-10-17 at 9.16.41 AM.png

It’s not that some Republicans are not willing to stand up to the bullies; it’s that they’ve seen the consequences of doing so. In the GOP, the bullies win every time. Jim Jordan is probably going to be Speaker of the House. The guy John Boehner once called a “legislative terrorist,” who has the interests of about 15 Congress’s Freedom caucus members, could be calling the shots by this afternoon.

There is some indication that Jordan promised to roll aid to Ukraine into any Israeli assistance, thus ensuring Ukraine will continue to receive American support. Beyond that, if I were setting the Vegas odds for a government shutdown in November, I’d triple them in favor of a shutdown if Jim Jordan is elected Speaker. Nothing will get through the House again until January 2025.

Moderate Republicans, however, should be very concerned. Jordan may make it more difficult for them to survive primaries, but he will also make it more difficult for them to win reelection in 2024. From Puck:

“No one should underestimate the ferocity with which the Democrats will leverage all of Jordan’s baggage — the Ohio State wrestling scandal, dozens of controversial votes, a decade of shit-talking on Fox News — to make him the face of the House GOP Republican former Rep. Liz Cheney wrote last week that a Jordan speakership would cost Republicans the majority next year. Democrats are counting on it.”

I hope it works — and I think it will — because the nightmare scenario is that Trump wins the election and Jim Jordan remains the Speaker of the House.