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‘We’ll Wait’: Jordan Backers Oppose Elevating Acting Speaker’s Powers After Second Vote Fails

  • House Republicans supporting Jim Jordan for speaker told reporters following the second failed vote that they are against empowering Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry.
  • After Jordan failed to achieve enough votes on the floor a second time, his allies like Reps. Byron Daniels of Florida and Chip Roy of Texas told reporters they will continue to support the chairman.
  • “It’s contrary to the Constitution to empower someone who isn’t the speaker,” said Roy. “We’ll go as long as it takes.” 

House Republicans who support Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan for speaker oppose giving Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry more power after the second vote fails.

Jordan failed to secure enough support on the floor in the second round of voting, with 22 Republicans voting against him — an uptick of two members from the first ballot — and all Democrats backing Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries for the role. Some have floated making McHenry a temporary speaker as Jordan continues to lack enough votes to secure the gavel, which his allies opposed following the vote, insisting they’ll support the Judiciary chairman no matter how many rounds it takes, they told reporters.

“I don’t support empowering McHenry,” Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “I’ll stay with Jim Jordan however many rounds he goes.”

Donalds added that Jordan must meet with the holdouts and decide how he wants to move forward.

“It’s contrary to the Constitution to empower someone who isn’t the speaker,” Rep. Chip Roy of Texas told reporters. “We’ll go as long as it takes.”

“I’m frustrated,” Rep. Mike Waltz of Florida told reporters. “I don’t support a quasi half speaker with the pro tem. That name was written in secret.”

“It wasn’t the intention when the rules were written to empower a speaker pro tem,” Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee told reporters. “I’m with Jordan to the end.”

“It took us 15 rounds to get to [Kevin] McCarthy. We have a way to go,” Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky told the DCNF, referring to the former speaker’s election in January where he had to negotiate with numerous GOP holdouts to secure the gavel.

Rep. Harriet Hageman of Wyoming told the DCNF she isn’t sure how many more voting rounds Jordan can go through.

“We’ll wait and see as to whether Jordan will continue,” Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who gave Jordan’s nominating speech ahead of the vote, told reporters.

During the first round of voting, California Rep. Doug LaMalfa supported McCarthy and Indiana Rep. Victoria Spartz backed Massie for speaker. Both Republicans changed their votes to Jordan on the second vote.

“Republicans need to come together and stop attacking each other,” Jordan spokesperson Russell Dye told the DCNF.

Reps. Vern Buchanan of Florida, John James of Michigan, Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa, Pete Stauber of Minnesota, Drew Ferguson of Georgia, Ken Buck of Colorado, Jake Ellzey of Texas, Don Bacon of Nebraska, Lori Chavez-DeRemer of Oregon, Carlos Gimenez of Florida, Jen Kiggans of Virginia, Mike Lawler of New York, Anthony D’Esposito of New York, Andrew Garbarino of New York, Nick LaLota of New York, Kay Granger of Texas, Tony Gonzales of Texas, John Rutherford of Florida, Mario Díaz-Balart, Mike Simpson of Idaho and Steve Womack of Arkansas all voted against Jordan for the second round.

Some House Democrats appear to be interested in giving McHenry more power temporarily.

“I’m open to it,” Rep. Ro Khanna of California told the DCNF. “Republicans have to present a concrete proposal.”

McHenry did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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