One House Republican is confident that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) will become the next House speaker, but he expects it may take more than one vote to get Mr. Jordan there.
House Republicans voted 124-81 on Friday to select Mr. Jordan as the next House speaker, but some Republican holdouts kept Mr. Jordan’s speakership chances in question going into the weekend. On Monday, Rep. Keith Self (R-Texas) told NTD News that he worked with his colleagues throughout the weekend and has now begun sharing a message throughout the House Republican conference.
“The message is that Jim Jordan will be the next speaker of the House,” Mr. Self announced.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who was ousted from the speakership earlier this month, has also expressed confidence in Mr. Jordan’s chances and said he’s doing everything he can to support the Ohio Republican.
The House could vote on its next speaker as soon as Tuesday, and while Mr. Self is confident in Mr. Jordan’s odds, he anticipates it could take a day or so to fully settle the matter.
“I think right now, there will be more than one round. But at the end of the day, or the next day, I think Jim Jordan will be the speaker of the house,” he said.
Mr. Self said he’s prepared to help negotiate with any holdouts to address their concerns about Mr. Jordan if the speakership issue takes more than a few rounds of voting to resolve.
“It’s not going to take 17 rounds. I think we’ll take a very few rounds and probably have Jim Jordan as our speaker in the next two days,” Mr. Self said.
Mr. Self noted that several Republican holdouts have come around to Mr. Jordan’s speakership bid since Friday.
“He is making great progress. I see a lot of momentum,” the Texas Republican said.
Procedural Questions Impacting Speakership Vote
In his discussions with Republican holdouts, Mr. Self said his colleagues are more concerned about the processes by which the House will operate, as opposed to any particular political issue.
“I think the concerns mainly are about the process; they’re not about politics. They’re about the process and what they see has happened,” he said. “But I think at the end of the day, everyone realizes that the Republican Conference must come together. We must agree we must elect a speaker of the house. And again, I think that’ll be Jim Jordan.”
Mr. Self said the threshold to trigger a motion to vacate the House speaker is one particular “process” issue his colleagues are debating.
Republican lawmakers have debated raising the threshold for a motion to vacate the speaker, after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) singlehandedly brought forward the motion to vacate Mr. McCarthy from the speakership. Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.) has suggested raising the motion-to-vacate threshold to as high as 50 percent of the House Republican Conference.
Mr. Gaetz was ultimately able to oust Mr. McCarthy from the speakership with the support of seven other House Republicans and 208 House Democrats.
Mr. Self said he has yet to see enough votes within the House Republican conference to support changing the motion-to-vacate threshold.
Another “process” issue Republicans have been discussing is how to handle legislation where the Republican conference is deeply divided.
Just days before Mr. Gaetz triggered the motion to oust Mr. McCarthy from the speakership, a majority of Republicans voted against a $300 million round of U.S. support for Ukraine. While 117 Republicans opposed the Ukraine aid, the measure passed in the House with the support of 101 House Republicans and 210 House Democrats. Mr. McCarthy was among the minority of House Republicans who voted in favor of that Ukraine aid.
The opposition some House Republicans raised against Ukraine aid had been a key issue that slowed efforts to pass a government budget before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. The $300 million round of Ukraine aid was ultimately kept out of a continuing resolution (CR) to temporarily fund the U.S. government, which passed on Sept. 30 with the support of 126 House Republicans and 209 House Democrats last month.
Mr. Gaetz criticized Mr. McCarthy’s handling of the CR and accused him of arranging a side-deal with Democrats to pass new rounds of Ukraine aid, circumventing Republican divisions on the issue.
Congresswoman Concerned By Jordan’s CR Stance
Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas) weighing in on the speakership negotiations, praised Mr. Jordan’s work on the impeachment investigation into President Joe Biden and other investigations into allegations that the Biden administration has weaponized the federal government, but stressed that Mr. Jordan will have to be able to look beyond those issues as speaker.
“I think Jim Jordan has been an absolute Bulldog—as the Judiciary Chairman, I really appreciate his focus there,” she told NTD News. “What I want to make sure is he is equally as determined and focused on not just the impeachment inquiries and investigations, but also on making sure that our spending levels are responsible, and that we are protecting our border, especially given what’s happening in Israel right now.”
Ms. Van Duyne said her particular concern around Mr. Jordan’s handling of government spending is that he will pass a so-called “clean CR,” keeping the same government spending levels in place when the current CR expires on Nov. 17.
The day before voting to pass the Sept. 30 CR, Mr. McCarthy had supported a different CR that would have imposed cuts to the U.S. government’s discretionary spending and provided some new border security measures; 21 House Republicans voted against the version of the CR that included the spending cuts.
“If [Mr. Jordan’s] solution to moving forward on not having a government shutdown when we’re done with our 45-Day CR, which is what got passed, is to have another continuing resolution, I think it’s dead on arrival,” she said. “You’re gonna have to change the minds of 86 of those 90 members who voted against it.”
Ms. Van Duyne said she’s willing to support Mr. Jordan’s speakership for now but wants more clarity as to how he will address the government budget in the coming weeks.
“I’m still concerned, but I’m prepared to put a vote for our nominee,” she said.