House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) sees the House Speaker’s gavel within reach, as the House GOP conference nominee for the speakership heads to the floor shortly after noon on Tuesday in an attempt to unify the GOP conference and end the chaos that started two weeks ago when now former Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted from the position.
Jordan’s ascent to the top of the GOP conference has been a tumultuous ride for House Republicans, and he looks to lock down the requisite support on Tuesday to win the speaker’s gavel and unite the GOP conference again. After McCarthy’s ouster at the hands of 8 House Republicans who worked with all Democrats in the chamber to remove him, House Republicans then rallied behind House GOP Majority Leader Steve Scalise as the conference nominee.
But Scalise’s poor showing in the conference vote–he got 113 votes, but since 3 were non-voting delegates from the territories it was really only 110 votes meaning he got less than a majority of the majority–led to him withdrawing from the speakership election a day later.
Jordan won the GOP conference nomination on Friday last week in a 124-81 vote when running against Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA). Scott has since endorsed him. Later on Friday, when Jordan was the conference nominee, Jordan expanded his support in a 152-55 vote when members were asked if they would support Jordan on the floor. Jordan spent the weekend and Monday flipping holdouts and rallying support but some members who are upset about what happened to McCarthy and Scalise remain holdouts.
Whether Jordan can get them on board for the first ballot, or subsequent ballots, remains to be seen–but the gavel is clearly within reach for him as the House reconvenes on Tuesday.
A big question for the holdouts is whether they want to be purveyors of the chaos they purport to oppose–not voting for Jordan at this stage is a vote for chaos and uncertainty. A vote for Jordan, conversely, is a vote for a return to governing and pursuing the House GOP agenda. Republicans, as such, face a major test on whether they are ready to lead the lower chamber of Congress after weeks of uncertainty.
With full attendance in the House, since there are two vacancies, Jordan would need 217 votes. At least one Jordan-supporting member will not be present at the first vote–Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) is attending a funeral on Tuesday–but will be back later in the day. Since there are 221 House Republicans, when Bilirakis returns that means Jordan can lose only four Republicans in his quest to win.
On the other side of the aisle, meanwhile, Democrats are seeking to cause chaos of their own. Their leader, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), in a last-ditch bid to stop Jordan from winning floated on Tuesday having Democrats work with Republicans to empower acting Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) with new powers.
That effort could backfire and throw more support to Jordan since it is unlikely any Republicans want to help Jeffries and Democrats gain power, but it is unclear at best how that shakes out.
Follow along here on Breitbart News for live updates on the speakership election as Jordan seeks to lock down the votes necessary for the position.
UPDATE 12:13 p.m. ET:
Rep. Tom Kean (R-NJ) has decided to back Jordan now, another critical pickup for the Ohio conservative:
BREAKING: @CongressmanKean will vote for Jim Jordan as House Speaker, according to people close to the congressman.— Joey Fox (@pocryphal) October 17, 2023
Kean had been quiet about his intentions leading up to the vote today; his decision puts Jordan one vote closer to the 217 he needs
UPDATE 12:10 p.m. ET:
The vote on the quorum call is happening now, and with Bilirakis’s expected absence and full Democrat attendance there is an expectation there will be 220 Republicans and 212 Democrats there for this.
UPDATE 12:04 p.m. ET:
McHenry gaveled in the House and the chaplain is offering a prayer. The first vote, upcoming soon, will be a quorum call to determine attendance. Then, shortly thereafter, the House speakership election process will begin.
UPDATE 12:00 p.m. ET:
Jordan, too, is saying he is prepared to go as many ballots as it takes to get the speakership locked down:
JORDAN on if he’ll go ballot after ballot:— Reese Gorman (@reesejgorman) October 17, 2023
“Whatever it takes to get a speaker.”
“We need to get a Speaker today and we feel really good about where we’re at.”
UPDATE 11:59 a.m. ET:
House Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) is likewise predicting multiple ballots to get there for Jordan:
HFC Chair Scott Perry predicts it’ll take at least two ballots for Jordan to get gavel. Doesn’t think fight is just conservative-moderate split.— Mica Soellner (@MicaSoellnerDC) October 17, 2023
“It doesn't seem that it all comes from moderate districts. It comes from [Okla.] It comes from [Fla.] It comes from uncanny places.”
UPDATE 11:56 a.m. ET:
Bradley Jaye, Breitbart News’s Capitol Hill correspondent, has this dispatch filed from the Capitol as Jordan and House Republicans expect possibly to go multiple ballots:
UPDATE 11:54 a.m. ET:
Former President Donald Trump, who has endorsed Jordan for the job, believes Jordan will get the votes to get the gavel:
Donald Trump predicts Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) will get the votes to become Speaker:— The Recount (@therecount) October 17, 2023
“I think he's going to be confirmed sometime soon. As you know, many people have now supported him. Twenty-four hours ago, he was supporting somebody else. There seems to be great unification.” pic.twitter.com/jB8syaNLn5
UPDATE 11:52 a.m. ET:
Jordan says he is “feeling good” ahead of the vote:
Jordan tells me he’s “feeling good” ahead of the vote.— Juliegrace Brufke (@juliegraceb) October 17, 2023
UPDATE 11:49 a.m. ET:
McCarthy for his part is firmly behind Jordan, and is very clearly publicly predicting that Jordan will win eventually no matter how many ballots it takes:
UPDATE 11:48 a.m. ET:
One of the big stories here is that Jordan has incredible support from the grassroots across America–and as Breitbart News reported on Monday night they are quite literally “melting” phone lines down calling in to their members of Congress supporting Jordan:
UPDATE 11:44 a.m. ET:
Democrats are likely to try to use this process to play games on Tuesday, just like they did in January:
There are reports, too, that Democrats are trying to gain more power even though they are in the minority:
As we wrote this morning, Jeffries not holding back on Jordan, calling him “the face of Maga extremism” https://t.co/TM2gslgrED— Heather Caygle (@heatherscope) October 17, 2023
Whether Democrats are successful or not depends on how unified Republicans are.