Jordan to face a challenger in floor vote Tuesday

Jordan to face a challenger in floor vote Tuesday

A faction of Republicans that strongly opposes Jim Jordan is vowing he’ll have a challenger during the House floor speakership vote on Tuesday, according to two House Republicans familiar with the planning.

While they have not yet nailed down a specific name, they believe the person they ultimately land on will not only be able block Jordan from the speakership, but also give cover to those who want to vote against him. The challenger will certainly take arrows from the far-right flank of the conference, which is pushing hard for Jordan.

“There will be an alternative for the rational part of the Republican conference,” said one of these House Republicans.

It’s an unwelcome development for Jordan that will further complicate his rocky bid to get to 217 votes on the House floor. Few House Republicans had predicted he would face a competitor after he won the conference’s nomination on Friday.

Jordan was the second speaker nominee this past week, after his supporters first helped block Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) by making clear they would not give him the 217 votes needed.

That upset Scalise allies, leading one – Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) – to challenge Jordan. Scott received 81 votes, vs. 124 for Jordan.

And in a subsequent secret-ballot vote, where members registered whether they would support or oppose Jordan on the floor, results weren’t much better: 55 House Republicans continued to say they will oppose him for the speakership.

“Chairman Jordan is looking forward to uniting the entire conference on Tuesday in order to get back to work and pass the bills that the American people expect by giving Israel the resources they need to destroy Hamas and securing the southern border,” Jordan spokesperson Russell Dye said in a statement.

Most House Republicans believe that number will come down, but the question is by how much. Conservative allies of Jordan believe there are about a dozen hard “no” votes, but those who oppose him believe they have closer to 20. Jordan, however, needs to win over more than 50 opponents to become speaker.

While there was a push for the party to support the nominee who the conference selected with a majority vote, Jordan supporters made clear quickly and loudly they wouldn’t back Scalise. Now, the same is happening to Jordan.

Jordan allies, meanwhile, want to charge into a floor vote with the hope that the public pressure from the conservative base, radio talk show hosts, and their own GOP colleagues, among others, will change the holdouts’ minds. Not to mention the threat of a primary challenge.

“It’s time for a floor vote! Republicans should come back to DC to elect Jim Jordan the Speaker of the House. What are we waiting for? The American people want Jim to be the next Speaker,” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Jordan’s Freedom Caucus ally, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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