Jordan’s wall of opposition starts to crumble, with 24 hours before speaker vote

Jordan’s wall of opposition starts to crumble, with 24 hours before speaker vote

Jim Jordan rolled out several key endorsements in his bid for speaker on Monday, a surprising turn that has some in his party privately believing the Ohio Republican has a shot after all.

Twenty-four hours before the full House will vote on whether to hand Jordan the gavel, the Judiciary chair and his allies have managed to chip away at a significant bloc of opposition that many in the House GOP saw as insurmountable just days ago.

That includes two lawmakers who had publicly vowed not to support Jordan: Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), who had publicly railed against Jordan’s behavior towards Majority Whip Steve Scalise, and House Armed Services Chair Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), who had also backed Scalise’s bid and has been critical of the House Freedom Caucus’s tactics in recent years.

Another holdout, Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), tweeted Monday that he would be “offering my support on the House floor” to Jordan. Buchanan, a senior member of the Florida GOP delegation, is another significant get, given three Republicans from the Sunshine state are still holding out.

Some House Republicans also raised eyebrows at the nod from Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), a senior appropriator who has been similarly skeptical of the ultraconservatives’ demands this Congress.

“I feel real good about the momentum we have and I think we’re real close,” Jordan told reporters Monday, vowing to take the contest to the floor at noon regardless of whether he’s formally landed 217 votes.

Still, not every Republican is convinced that Jordan has enough momentum to clear that high bar. The Freedom Caucus co-founder still faces significant headwinds in the conference and multiple Republicans say there are enough GOP “no” votes to block Jordan on the floor Tuesday.

But despite efforts by Jordan skeptics to rally around an alternative Republican on the House floor, the plan appears to be stalling Monday. A House Republican familiar with the planning said those who intend to oppose Jordan will likely name Scalise as a protest vote instead of a genuine opponent. However, discussions centered on how to oppose Jordan are still ongoing on Monday, this member noted, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Those in opposition must withstand heavy pressure — including what some Republicans are describing as subtle primary threats back home. Anyone who votes against Jordan on the floor could sustain heavy criticism among GOP base voters.

Even some of the Republicans who have vowed, publicly and privately, to fight him at every turn are beginning to get weak knees about supporting him, fearing that collective will is dwindling as their numbers decrease.

Republicans said they are particularly shocked by Wagner’s flip, who told POLITICO “absolutely not” on Friday. Some GOP lawmakers also believe appropriators like Calvert and defense hawks like Rogers could be critical to winning a 217 coalition.

On Friday, Jordan’s fight for the gavel seemed treacherous, with 55 House Republicans stating on a secret ballot that they will oppose him on the House floor. That included many angry Scalise backers.

But Jordan’s allies kicked off a pressure campaign, posting the office phone numbers of holdouts online — directing the rage of the base and conservative media personalities. And it appears to have had success.

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