GOP Lawmaker Says She Faces Death Threats After Switching Speaker Vote

Caden Pearson
By Caden Pearson
October 19, 2023Congress
GOP Lawmaker Says She Faces Death Threats After Switching Speaker Vote
U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) casts her vote as the House of Representatives holds its second round of voting for a new Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Oct. 18, 2023. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa) on Wednesday said she received “credible death threats” and a “barrage of threatening calls” after reversing her support for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) during the second House speaker ballot held that day.

The lawmaker was among four House Republicans who switched their support for the speaker position after initially voting for Mr. Jordan on the first ballot.

In a statement released by her office, Ms. Miller-Meeks detailed the threats and harassment she said she encountered following her decision. She said that her office is actively cooperating with law enforcement, and the proper authorities have been notified.

The Iowa Republican lawmaker ultimately cast her vote for Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), citing her “great leadership” as the chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee.

“One thing I cannot stomach, or support is a bully,” Ms. Miller-Meeks said in a statement. “I did not stand for bullies before I voted for Chairwoman Granger and when I voted for Speaker designee Jordan, and I will not bend to bullies now.”

Ms. Miller-Meeks said that it became “abundantly clear” early in Wednesday’s roll call vote that Mr. Jordan did not secure the 217 votes needed to be elected to the speaker role.

“Given the concerns I had before any vote and the ability of the speaker designee to unify the conference, I voted in support of Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Kay Granger to serve as Speaker of the House,” Ms. Miller-Meeks said.

House Lawmakers Work Towards Electing New Speaker On Capitol Hill
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) walks through a hallway at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Oct. 18, 2023. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Mr. Jordan responded to the reported threats, calling them “abhorrent.”

“No American should accost another for their beliefs. We condemn all threats against our colleagues, and it is imperative that we come together. Stop. It’s abhorrent,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

In total, six Republicans changed their votes on Mr. Jordan during the second ballot, with four, including Ms. Miller-Meeks, choosing not to vote for the speaker-designate after initially supporting him on the first vote.

Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), who initially voted for the former speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), on the first ballot, and Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.), who initially voted for Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), both switched their support to Mr. Jordan during the second round.

Nevertheless, Mr. Jordan received 199 votes, falling short of the 217 votes required for victory, with 22 Republicans siding against him.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) received 212 votes, and the remaining 22 votes were distributed among other candidates.

Ms. Miller-Meeks’s statement acknowledged the potential unpopularity of her vote against Mr. Jordan.

“I respected Jim enough to vote for him [on Tuesday], knowing he did not have the votes to be elected,” she said. “We have had numerous calls to all our offices, and many have urged that I support Jim Jordan and many others urged me to look for a conservative consensus candidate.”

Expressing her belief that the Republican Party “needs a consensus candidate” to facilitate House work on appropriations, support for Israel, and to “stop the insane policies of the Biden administration,” Ms. Miller-Meeks stood by her choice.

Anonymous messages and calls were also received by the wife of Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) in the days leading up to the speaker vote, urging her to convince Mr. Bacon to vote for Mr. Jordan, whom he continued to oppose, reported Politico.

The House has remained at a standstill for the past 15 days since Mr. McCarthy’s removal from the speaker position.

Many lawmakers are advocating for the expansion of Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Patrick McHenry’s powers to allow some House functions to resume.

The next speaker vote is scheduled for Thursday.

From The Epoch Times

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