House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, called for a third vote Friday on his own nomination to be Speaker of the House, telling reporters the House needs to “elect a speaker as soon as possible” so “we can go to work for the American people.”
Not only is the US without a speaker, but it has no ambassadors currently in place in Israel or Egypt, while the mideast war between Israela and Hamas goes on.
Jordan needs to win over virtually every House Republican to succeed, and as of Thursday night he seemed far from that goal. The Friday vote will test whether he has made any progress in wooing new supporters, or if the bitter divisions within the party are unchanged.
Jordan met Thursday with the Republicans who voted against him on the two previous ballots. Jordan lost 20 Republicans on the first vote, and the number grew to 22 for the second vote. Rep. Carlos Giménez, R-Fla., was one of several members who left the meeting under the impression that nobody had changed their minds.
“It was productive, but it did not change my mind,” Giménez told reporters. “I’m not voting for Jordan.”
Many members have complained that Jordan and his supporters have bullied and threatened members, their staffs and families. Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., told reporters on Thursday that he and his wife have continued to receive threats and fear for their safety.
“I didn’t sleep well last night,” he said. “I called her and I go, ‘How you doing?’ She said, ‘I slept really good. I had a loaded gun.’ … It was ugly phone calls.”
Rep. Jen Kiggans, R-Va., a former military helicopter pilot, was one of at least two members who reported receiving credible death threats from supporters of Jordan, releasing the following on Twitter (X).
I will never regret standing up for the military and for doing what’s right for Virginia’s Second District.
I was a helicopter pilot in the United States Navy…threats and intimidation tactics will not change my principles and values.
— Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (@RepJenKiggans) October 18, 2023
The process has left members angry and frustrated. Many have told reporters they fear that nobody can win sufficient support from Republicans to be elected speaker.
The impasse has persisted even under the increasing threat of a government shutdown if Congress does not pass a spending bill by Nov. 17th.
President Biden is also sending a new request for money to address the wars in Ukraine and Israel on Friday and that measure cannot go through if there is no speaker.
Source: NPR, news agencies.