Rep. Jim Jordan gets his vote for House speaker on Tuesday, and it all hinges on whether some so-called moderate Republicans, including some from districts won by President Joe Biden in 2020, can stay firm in their objections to Jordan. Going into a day of intense lobbying and bullying, Jordan was short by dozens. On Monday, one after another folded. As of Tuesday morning, with a vote slated for noon, Jordan still probably isn’t quite there, but he’s getting close.
“Jim Jordan begins day short of 217 votes to be elected speaker,” CNN’s Manu Raju tweeted. “In addition to five public NO votes, at least five others are leaning NO. And one supporter — Rep. Bilirakis — is out til this evening due to a family funeral. That means Jordan can only lose three on first ballot.” Punchbowl had a similar assessment: Jordan is close, but not quite there. Punchbowl also noted that three likely “no” votes come early in the alphabet, and that if Jordan is clearly falling short early on in the voting, he might lose more support along the way as people reconsider having folded previously.
All that said, we are talking about a House Republican conference dominated by extremists and bullies, and Jordan has shown how weak they are when he and his allies come calling. “Moderate” Republicans have a stark record of talking loudly about how unhappy they are at what their party is doing and then falling in line when it’s time to vote.
Similarly, Republican donors are expressing concern about Jordan’s possible ascension, and claiming they wouldn’t give to House Republican efforts with Jordan in charge—but we’ve heard that story before. Donors might put relatively more of their money and energy into the Senate if the House is a clown show, but they’re not going to just walk away.
Jordan has worked to pitch himself to skeptics within his conference by suggesting he’ll be a better fundraiser than expected—CNN reports he has been “arguing he’ll be able to attract more conservative donors who wouldn’t have otherwise contributed to the main party apparatus and pointing out that the infrastructure built by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy will still be in place”—and has claimed he’ll work to avert a government shutdown. If it wasn’t so dangerous, with the very real likelihood that someone who tried to overturn the last election would be presiding over the House during the next election, it would be almost funny watching Jordan of all people try to reshape himself into some kind of statesman over the course of about 72 hours. Unfortunately, the stakes are that high, and Jordan’s party’s habit of being run by its extremist elements is that strong. There’s grim amusement in watching it play out, but nothing funny about the big picture.
Daily Kos will have live coverage of the speaker vote.
Sign if you agree: No more MAGA circus. Hakeem Jeffries for speaker.