Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan failed on Tuesday to gain a majority in the House to vote him in as House Speaker. Twenty House Republicans voted NO, choosing instead to back Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and others for the speakership. State Freedom Caucus Comms person Greg Price offered some interesting insights into the potential “Why” behind some of the opposition to Jordan becoming Speaker.
If you look at the 20 Republicans that just voted against @Jim_Jordan for Speaker, they all fall into one of three categories:— Greg Price (@greg_price11) October 17, 2023
Appropriators: There's an old saying in Congress that there are three parties: Democrats, Republicans, and appropriators. These people make up the…
If you look at the 20 Republicans that just voted against @Jim_Jordan for Speaker, they all fall into one of three categories
Appropriators: There’s an old saying in Congress that there are three parties: Democrats, Republicans, and appropriators. These people make up the bureaucratic industrial complexes and want to be able to continue deficit spending like there’s no tomorrow. Of the 20 Jordan No’s, seven were members of the House Appropriations Committee: Kay Granger, Mike Simpson, Mario Diaz-Balart, Steve Womack, John Rutherford, Tony Gonzales, and Jake Ellzey.
Defense Hawks: Pretty simple category here. These are the people that are scared Speaker Jordan would stop them from being able to give an endless amount of money to Ukraine and other pointless wars in random parts of the globe. Jim Jordan hinted as much that the gravy train to Ukraine would be slowed so now they’re denying him the Speakership. Of the 20 Jordan Nos, four are members of the Armed Services Committee: Don Bacon, Carlos Gimenez, Jen Kiggans, and Nick LaLota.
Members in Biden-won Districts: This category probably seems to make more sense to you. They represent blue districts therefore they don’t want to vote for a conservative like Jim Jordan. But here’s the thing: There are several members like Brian Fitzpatrick, David Valadao, and others who also represent blue districts but just voted for him. Do you also really think the average voter in their district even cares who the Speaker is? What the holdouts have in common is that they’re all freshmen members of Congress who desperately need K-Street money in order to be re-elected next year: Anthony D’Esposito, Andrew Garbarino, Nick LaLota, and Mike Lawler. On top of that, all but two of the 20 Jordan No’s submitted earmarks requests for the latest budget. Basically, Jim Jordan is being opposed by members who are a part of the military and bureaucratic industrial complexes, as well as members who need lobbyist dollars to be re-elected.
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.— Don Bacon 🇺🇸 🥓 ✈️ 🏍️ (@DonJBacon) October 17, 2023
Bacon, alongside multiple others, voted for former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Tuesday’s ballot. Meanwhile, some conference members voted for Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA). Scalise initially beat Jordan in a closed-door conference vote for speaker nominee before dropping out of the race because he struggled to lock down enough GOP support to bring it to the House floor for a vote.
The Ohio Republican had planned to return to the House floor for another vote Tuesday evening but called it a night when it became clear that more conference opposition was emerging. Instead, the House is expected to take up another vote around 11 a.m. Wednesday.
According to the Washington Examiner, Bacon’s wife received what appeared to be threatening phone calls after his “No” vote. This is ridiculous and wrong. His constituents would do better to look at Bacon’s funding.
Don Bacon is a top recipient from the following industries in the 2023 – 2024 election cycle:
Don Bacon is a top recipient from the following industries in the 2023 – 2024 election cycle:
- Transport Unions (#2)
- US Postal Service unions & associations (#2)
- Construction Svcs (#3)
- Meat processing & products (#3)
- Telecom Svcs (#3)
Ken Buck of Colorado was part of the original “Gang of 8” who helped remove Kevin McCarthy from the Speakership. He was vague on what he might need to change his mind on Jordan, but one of the things he does want is an apology from Jordan for supporting Donald Trump and the issues surrounding January 6.
Note the outlet he chose to go to in disclosing this information.
While Buck appears as though he is flexible on changing his vote, recognize that his interests in both the judiciary and foreign affairs (the committees he sits on) may not be served under a Jordan speakership. Buck also has the advantage of being in a heavily red district in a state that gets bluer each election cycle. The calls to primary him with a possibility of losing this safe Republican seat under someone else, may well give Coloradans pause.
Rep. Lori Chavez-Deremer of Oregon was similarly vague in her statement on why she chose to vote no. Expand this X post to get the full reading. For her, it’s all about “bipartisanship.” Chavez-Deremer feels as though the ousting of Speaker Kevin McCarthy was done poorly, and for the sake of the people of Oregon, she needs to oppose these tactics.
My thoughts on today's vote for the next Speaker of the House ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/EKLqk6r9gV— Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (@RepLCD) October 17, 2023
Chavez-Deremer is in a fully blue and still partially locked-down state, and she wants to hold on to this seat. Like the Republican voters in Colorado who are hanging on by a thread, Oregonians sticking to the devil they know may be the best option, and her constituents may attempt to convince her to vote for Jordan.
Like Chavez-Deremer, New York Rep. Anthony D’Esposito says the reason he voted no was all about his constituents.
I want a Speaker who understands Long Island’s unique needs. Restoring the SALT deduction, safeguarding 9/11 victim support funding, and investing in critical infrastructure are our priorities. I look forward to discussions with candidates.
D’Esposito is on the Transportation Committee, and funding is the lifeblood for his district. New York Republicans are also treading lightly, wishing to hold the line and advance rather than risk losing any ground in a primary. It is no coincidence that the majority of the New York representatives (Nick LaLota, Mike Lawler, and Andrew Garbarino) voted against Jordan.
Certain red states, however, are challenging the stance of their representatives. Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho received a strongly worded post from the Idaho Republican Party over his no vote. Constituents have been lighting up their phones, expressing their displeasure.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE— Idaho GOP (@IdahoGOP) October 17, 2023
October 17, 2023
The Idaho Republican Party has been inundated with emails and phone calls from registered Idaho voters expressing their profound disappointment with Congressman Mike Simpson’s decision today. Their voices are invaluable to us, and they have…
You can expand to see the full statement, but the state GOP is not playing games in its recommendation to Simpson.
We urge our Congressman to reconsider his position and refocus his efforts on addressing the significant issues confronting our constituents — rather than waste his time engaging in protest votes and parliamentary delay tactics. The people of Idaho expect Mike Simpson to represent their concerns and prioritize their needs above political games and partisan divisions. The true measure of his success will be in his steadfast defense of the constitution and the tangible benefits he delivers to the hardworking families of Idaho. We will be watching.
Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana broke from her state’s coalition to vote against Jordan, to the dismay of her fellow Indiana Rep. Greg Pence, who supports Jordan. Spartz’s statement outlines the reason why.
Spartz voted for Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky. Prior to the vote, she had released a statement in which she accused McCarthy of trying to undermine Scalise in favor of Jordan in closed-door Republican conference meetings.
I voted to support Jim Jordan in conference, but what happened Friday night is not acceptable. After undermining Steve and appearing to make some kind of a deal with Jim, Kevin forced the conference to adjourn and announced that Jim Jordan was going to be our speaker next week. Unfortunately, Jim did not object to Kevin, as also on a few other occasions as the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
I would also like to remind Jim that Republicans are not sheep and will refuse to support him if he will try to use the same McCarthy intimidation techniques on members on the floor, even if I have to run again, so McCarthy and his friends have a chance to primary me.
Like Oregon Rep. Chavez-Deremer, Spartz claims there is bullying and intimidation that she feels has been beyond the pale. This also could be a factor: Spartz is Ukrainian-born, and Jordan has been staunch concerning blocking any further financial aid to Ukraine.
Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas flirted with retiring this term but later decided he would run in 2024. Womack is a senior House member who sits on the powerful Appropriations Committee, so as Price expressed in his X post, a Jordan speakership would not necessarily suit his best interests either. Womack has never cared for the Freedom Caucus arm of the House and, like Buck, does not care for Jordan’s past support of Trump in 2020.
A former chairman of the House Budget Committee, Womack is a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, where he chairs the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee.
He will be at the center of debates over the reauthorization of federal funding for several major programs to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month. Over the summer, Womack expressed frustrations with the way some far-right members of his party were approaching the debate over federal government spending bills.
“I am uniquely positioned to make a true difference in Washington,” Womack said in a statement. “I remain committed to restoring our conservative values — American values that make our nation the greatest in the world.”
Womack clearly feels he has a mission and a mandate that holds higher priority than supporting Jim Jordan.
To the great surprise of many, Rep. John James of Michigan also voted no to Jordan. As my colleague Duke has covered, the Michigan Republican Party is in tatters, so individual constituents may be the ones who will have to tip this balance. Sources indicate that James may well vote yes in this second round of House voting on Wednesday.
Which is happening now…