Jordan Faces Do-or-Die Week as He Scrambles for Votes

Over the weekend, Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio worked tirelessly to secure the necessary votes for a Tuesday floor vote on the speakership. However, according to sources close to his effort, there is still a significant shortfall of 15 to 19 votes, and some believe the gap may be even wider. Jordan had previously lost by a margin of 55 votes in a secret ballot to relatively lesser-known Representative Austin Scott of Georgia.

Undeterred, Team Jordan is determined to bring the vote to the floor, where it becomes a public affair, and they anticipate exerting substantial pressure on fellow Republicans to support Jordan. Even former President Donald Trump has quietly reached out to undecided members, urging them to rally behind Jordan.

Nevertheless, Jordan faces staunch opposition from a group within his own party who are firmly against his candidacy for the speakership. As one House member explained, there is a strong anti-Jordan sentiment among some Republicans.

Adding complexity to the situation, House Democrats have introduced a proposal late in the week that could potentially disrupt the GOP’s plans. Four centrist Democrats from the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus – Representatives Josh Gottheimer, Ed Case, Susie Lee, and Jared Golden – expressed their willingness to support Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry as a temporary speaker in 15-day increments. This proposal is aimed at ensuring the House can proceed with critical measures, including aid to Israel and funding the federal government after the upcoming expiration of the continuing resolution.

While “coalition speakers” have been used in various state legislatures in the past, most Republican members are skeptical of the Problem Solvers’ suggestion, fearing it could give Democrats an undue influence in the House despite their minority status.

Amidst these dynamics, Jordan’s supporters remain optimistic about his chances. Representative Gary Palmer of Alabama, a staunch Jordan backer, praised Jordan as a leader with a strong sense of purpose and mission. Representative John Moolenaar of Michigan noted that there is indeed a pathway for Jordan to become speaker, but it may require him to approach different lawmakers than House Majority Leader Steve Scalise would.

Ultimately, insiders are wagering that Jordan may struggle to secure the necessary votes. In the coming week, he will need to make a decision on whether to persist with the voting process or step aside to allow other members to put forth their names for consideration.