WASHINGTON (AP) — The House returned for a second round of balloting for House speaker on Wednesday morning as Jim Jordan fights to win over his many holdouts for the job to replace the ousted Kevin McCarthy.
After Jordan lost 20 Republican votes Tuesday in the first round of voting, he once again lost on Wednesday’s second round of voting. Jordan amassed 199 votes on Wednesday, one less than on the first ballot.
On Tuesday, he pleaded afterward to his colleagues that they “must stop attacking each other and come together.”
Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida said before Wednesday’s vote that he thinks the path will grow even more difficult for Jordan. The Florida congressman was among 20 Republicans who voted against Jordan in the first round.
Diaz-Balart also said that the strategy of trying to pressure Republicans into supporting Jordan is backfiring. He says honorable, dignified members of Congress oppose Jordan and threatening them will only make it worse.
When asked about whether he had personally received threats because of his opposition to Jordan, he declined to provide specifics, saying, “I keep my private stuff private.”
More generally, he said, “the nanosecond that anybody thinks they can intimidate me or threaten me is the day that I shut down.”Two unlikely sources float plan for interim deal
Bipartisan groups of lawmakers have been floating ways to operate the House by giving greater power to the interim speaker, Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, or another temporary speaker. The House had never ousted its speaker before Kevin McCarthy, and the lawmakers are in rarely tested terrain.
Two former Republican House speakers, Newt Gingrich and John Boehner, have come out in support of the idea.
Gingrich said that while he likes Jordan, he has “no faith” the nominee can get much beyond the 200 votes he won in the first vote.
“We can’t sit around and suck our thumbs and hope the world will wait until the House Republicans get their act together,” Gingrich told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on his show.
Boehner reposted Gingrich’s views on social media, adding, “I agree.”
The two men have deep experience with the subject. Both were chased to early retirement by threats of ouster from right-flank insurgents like those who toppled McCarthy.