Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) asked for House Majority Leader Rep. Steve Scalise’s (R-LA) help in reaching the majority vote needed to secure the speakership. Scalise shot him down just hours before a second vote that once again left the House without formal leadership.
The first vote was held on Tuesday, following a week-long debate over who would be the best fit for the job. Scalise was a popular pick initially, and many members of Congress could be eager to work against Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) after his controversial move to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from the role.
Gaetz has recommended Jordan for the speakership in the past, and signaled interest in him taking the role late last year before McCarthy was elected.
Republicans must unite and elect @Jim_Jordan as Speaker of the House!
We can have better days going forward because he has the credibility, honesty, and determination to get the job done. pic.twitter.com/i0mcUwE2Kg
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) October 17, 2023
In a matter of days, Scalise’s name rose to the top of headlines as the likely next speaker, only to come tumbling down as he pulled himself back out of the race, sparking controversy as to what kind of powerplay is going on in Congress.
The big money donors and lobbyists want Steve Scalise as Speaker.
The voters want Jim Jordan as Speaker.
So naturally, the Republican Congress goes behind closed doors on a secret ballot and screws their voters over again, AS USUAL.
— Catturd ™ (@catturd2) October 12, 2023
During the first vote, 20 Republicans did not vote for Jordan, a Trump-backed candidate.
— Ode to Joy 😋 (@OdeGotterfunken) October 17, 2023
🚨 HERE'S THE LIST OF REPUBLICANS THAT VOTED AGAINST @Jim_Jordan ON ROUND 1
Make them change their votes on Round 2
1. Bacon voted for McCarthy
2. Chavez-DeRemer voted for McCarthy
3. D’Esposito voted for Zeldin
4. Diaz-Balart voted for Scalise
5. Ellzey voted for Garcia
— Nick Sortor (@nicksortor) October 17, 2023
While seven members voted for Scalise during the roll call, Scalise turned heads as he voted for Jordan alongside many of his peers.
Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise vote for Jim Jordan for Speaker. Now, all those who voted for McCarthy and Scalise should vote for Jordan to follow their leaders and end this.
JORDAN FOR SPEAKER pic.twitter.com/c2mfgxD975
— Booker (@BookerSparticus) October 17, 2023
Scalise’s decision not to “commit” to giving Jordan a major assist hit both sides of the aisle in different ways. Some have echoed the sentiment that Scalise “isn’t being a team player,” while others feel voting for Jordan was more than generous.
Source familiar confirming that Jordan asked for Scalise’s help with speaker’s race just now in a meeting.
Scalise wouldn’t commit, per the source, adding that he isn’t being a team player.
— Jordain Carney (@jordainc) October 17, 2023
Still, Scalise’s Communications Director Lauren Fine has shared, “Leader Scalise has been the only candidate throughout the process who has publicly declared he will be supportive of whomever the conference nominated for speaker, and his position has not changed.” She added, “He voted for Jim Jordan on the floor and will continue to do so.”
Several Republican members of Congress were displeased when Jordan took the spotlight, and it appears their feelings on the issue are coming to light with every ballot cast.
A second vote on Wednesday morning once again left Jordan without enough support to become speaker — this time losing 22 votes. His allies continue to hammer home the message that he will win Congress over, but it doesn’t appear that his GOP peers agree, nor the American public.
Rep. Jim Jordan fails again to win the vote to become House speaker. Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY), one of the GOP defectors, says more floor votes won't "solve the problem."
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 18, 2023
Exiting House GOP whip’s office just now… Rep Mario Diaz Balart (R-FL) says he thinks Jim Jordan will face more defections on next vote
And won’t be able to win 217
Some of his lengthy remarks ===> pic.twitter.com/AKnSPNQVEF
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) October 18, 2023
For now, the House continues on without a speaker.