Jordan’s wall of opposition starts to crumble, with 24 hours before speaker vote

On Monday, Ohio Republican Jim Jordan announced the endorsement of numerous major figures in his campaign for speaker of the House. This unexpected turn of events has caused some members of Jordan’s party to privately believe that the Ohio Republican still has a chance of winning the position.

Twenty-four hours before the full House will vote on whether to surrender the gavel to Jordan, the Judiciary chair and his allies have managed to chip away at a major bloc of opposition that many members of the House GOP considered as unconquerable just days ago. This has allowed them to bring the vote forward by twenty-four hours.

Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Missouri), who had publicly railed against Jordan’s behavior towards Majority Whip Steve Scalise, and House Armed Services Chair Mike Rogers (R-Alabama), who had also backed Scalise’s bid and has been critical of the House Freedom Caucus’s tactics in recent years, are two of the lawmakers who had publicly vowed not to support Jordan.

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Florida), another holdout, posted on X on Monday that he would be “offering my support on the House floor” to Jordan, who was running for office. Given that three other Republicans from the Sunshine State are still holding out, the acquisition of Buchanan, a senior member of the Florida Republican delegation, is still another big get.

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), a senior appropriator who has been similarly suspicious of the demands made by ultraconservatives during this Congress, received a vote of confidence from his colleagues in the House of Representatives, which caused some of them to raise their eyebrows.

Jordan told reporters on Monday, “I feel real good about the momentum we have and I think we’re real close,” and he vowed to take the race to the floor at noon regardless of whether he has officially landed 217 votes.

However, there are those Republicans who are skeptical that Jordan have sufficient momentum to overcome such a difficult obstacle. The co-founder of the Freedom Caucus is still up against strong opposition in the conference, and many Republicans claim that there are sufficient “no” votes among GOP members to prevent Jordan from being considered on the floor on Tuesday.

On Monday, however, the strategy appeared to have hit a roadblock as a result of the attempts of Jordan opponents to unite behind an alternative Republican candidate on the House floor. According to a Republican in the House who is acquainted with the planning, those who aim to vote against Jordan will most likely use Scalise as a protest vote rather than a true opponent. On the other hand, negotiations centered on how to oppose Jordan are still ongoing as of Monday, a member pointed out under the condition that they remain anonymous.

Those who are opposed to the government have to be able to bear significant amounts of pressure, including what some Republicans are characterizing as oblique primary threats back home. Anyone who votes against Jordan on the floor could face severe backlash from the core supporters who support the Republican Party. Even some of the Republicans who have sworn, both publicly and privately, to oppose him at every opportunity are beginning to have second thoughts about backing him. They are afraid that their party’s collective willpower will weaken as their numbers continue to dwindle.

One member of the Republican Party, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss the internal workings of the party, stated that Jordan’s team believes that all of the holdouts are possibly persuadable at this time with the exception of Colorado Representative Ken Buck, citing the fact that the two Republicans “have history.” In recent years, the two have clashed over how to rein in tech monopolies and anti-trust legislation. Jordan nominated Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) to lead the Judiciary Committee’s antitrust group in January, a move that is widely perceived as a snub of Buck due to the fact that it was a Republican.

Republicans have expressed their utter disbelief at Wagner’s about-face, which she initially denied to POLITICO by saying “absolutely not” on Friday. Some members of the Republican Party in Congress believe that in order to get a 217 vote majority, it will be necessary to have appropriators like Calvert and defense hawks like Rogers.

On Friday, it appeared as though Jordan would have a difficult time winning the gavel since 55 Republicans in the House of Representatives had indicated, via a secret ballot, that they will vote against him on the House floor. This included a significant number of irate Scalise supporters.

However, Jordan’s friends immediately began a pressure campaign by publishing online the office phone numbers of those holdouts. This served to direct the anger of Jordan’s supporter base as well as conservative media figures. And it would appear that the plan was successful.

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