Regular readers of CHQ will recall that back in January 2023 when Rep. Kevin McCarthy went through 15 ballots to gain the necessary votes to become Speaker of the House his
opponents had a very specific list of commitments they wanted from the next Speaker – be it McCarthy or anyone else.
Moving bills through regular order, avoiding government by crisis by holding hearings and passing appropriations bills instead of continuing resolutions and Christmas Eve omnibus spending bills and opening up the amendment process were just a few of the common sense returns to the traditional way Congress operated that the original 20 McCarthy sceptics demanded for their votes.
Ultimately, former Speaker McCarthy made those commitments, and when he reneged on them a motion to vacate the chair was introduced and he was voted out.
So, now it’s time to elect another Republican Speaker, and there are about 20 holdouts against Jim Jordan, the conservative choice in the race, but we can’t figure out what it is that the holdouts want – other than “not Jim Jordan.”
Indeed, it is very strange that many of the holdouts are Appropriations Committee “Cardinals” and other members of the “purse strings committees” whose failure to do their job and move the spending bills was the proximate cause of Kevin McCarthy’s downfall.
Here’s the list of the most recent holdouts and their X (Twitter) handles if you want to contact them:
Bacon - @RepDonBacon
Buchanan - @VernBuchanan
Buck - @RepKenBuck
Chavez-DeRemer - @RepLCD
D’Esposito - @RepDesposito
Diaz-Balart - @MarioDB
Ellzey - @RepEllzey
Ferguson - @RepDrewFerguson
Garbarino - @RepGarbarino
Gimenez - @CarlosGimenezFL
Gonzales - @TonyGonzales4TX
Granger - @RepKayGranger
James - @JohnJamesMI
Kelly - @MikeKellyPA
Kiggans - @RepJenKiggans
LaLota - @RepLaLota
Lawler - @RepMikeLawler
Miller-Meeks - @RepMMM
Rutherford - @RepRutherfordFL
Simpson - @CongMikeSimpson
Stauber - @RepPeteStauber
Womack - @rep_stevewomack
And it’s no surprise we can’t figure out what they want, because it appears they haven’t been able to articulate it themselves.
Contrary to the 20 January holdouts against Kevin McCarthy, who had a list of Rules and policy demands, the 20-some holdouts against Jordan haven’t released any plan or asks of a new Speaker, be it Jordan or anyone else.
Indeed, there’s a growing suspicion that many of them are taking their anger at Rep. Matt Gaetz out on Jim Jordan – even though Jordan voted against Gaetz’s motion to vacate the Chair and opposed it.
However, many of the anti-Jordan holdouts are now starting to feel heat from their conservative constituents and they are none too happy about it.
Texas Public Radio reported Members who opposed Jordan have begun to complain about “threats and intimidation tactics” from Jordan's allies. Those complaints intensified after the second ballot as Jordan vowed to keep fighting. Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla, told reporters he has heard reports of robocalls in his district with misinformation, including telling voters he plans to vote for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-NY., to be speaker.
"There's robocalls apparently in my district," Gimenez said. "Somebody is funding this. Robocalls, you know they're not free."
Others, like Rep. Jen Kiggans, R-Va., and Kay Granger, R-Texas, have talked vaguely of threats and warned Jordan and his allies to back off.
But neither of them has said what their beef with Jordan is, or who that has a realistic chance of being a consensus candidate they would support.
There are a couple of Members who were, in good faith, trying to break the impasse, such as Vern Buchanan of Florida, who voted for Jordan and then switched his vote to fellow Floridian Byron Donalds, who has always been our second choice if Jordan couldn’t close the deal.
Our old friend, and one of the wisest men we know, former Senator Jim DeMint tweeted this in response to those House Republicans complaining about hearing from their constituents:
Members of Congress shouting “intimidation tactics won’t move me” are ridiculing their own constituents & GOP voters across America. Instead of complaining about those calling your office passionately supporting @Jim_Jordan for speaker, here’s an idea: listen to your voters.
We agree with Senator DeMint – the Republican grassroots are behind Jim Jordan – it’s time for House Republicans to put aside their petty personal beefs and come together to elect Jim Jordan Speaker of the House.
vacate the chair
Donald Trump endorses Jim Jordan