Jordan hustles to avoid losing ground in speaker mess — and turns to Scalise

Jordan hustles to avoid losing ground in speaker mess — and turns to Scalise

As Jim Jordan’s camp tries to woo his speakership holdouts — and avoid a loss of support on the second ballot of House voting — his feud with former rival Steve Scalise is flaring again.

The Ohio Republican is currently expected to press his speaker bid to a second ballot as soon as Wednesday after 20 House Republicans blocked him on Tuesday’s first ballot. Following that first failed speaker vote, Jordan met with Scalise (R-La.), the House majority leader who lost his own speaker push last week.

It didn’t appear to go well, according to a person familiar with the meeting who confirmed to POLITICO that Jordan asked for Scalise’s help — and claimed the Louisianan declined to give it.

This person, granted anonymity to speak candidly about the Scalise-Jordan sitdown, also hit Scalise for failing to be a “team player.” That kind of talk isn’t sitting well with Scalise’s allies, given that Jordan’s supporters helped block the No. 2 House Republican from the gavel.

“That’s bulls—t,” a second source familiar with the meeting said when asked for comment on the Jordan-friendly version of events. “Steve has been the only candidate for speaker who said he would publicly support the nominee and he has and still will.”

Before Scalise withdrew his name from speakership consideration, Jordan had offered to give a speech endorsing his rival on the House floor. Jordan added, however, that if Scalise failed to win on the first ballot, the Louisianan should endorse his own candidacy instead of continuing on.

Scalise declined that offer, and word of Jordan’s request — which some Scalise supporters viewed as extortion — sparked frustration that contributed to the Ohioan’s opposition on the floor Tuesday.

According to Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) and other House Republicans briefed on last week’s meeting, Jordan said to Scalise: “You get one ballot. And when you go down, you will nominate me.” Jordan’s spokesperson denied that any such message was communicated and described the meeting as cordial.

Seven of the 20 House Republicans who opposed Jordan voted for Scalise during Tuesday’s first ballot. But that number could well grow, with members privately expecting Jordan’s pool of “no” votes to climb in a second round of voting should it happen on Wednesday.

Go to Source