Moderate GOP Rep. Bacon says conservative Rep. Jordan is 'done,' needs to 'withdraw' speakership bid

 October 20, 2023

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who was nominated last week by his fellow House Republicans as the Speaker-Designee, has now twice fallen short of reaching the 217-vote threshold needed to secure the speaker's gavel in floor votes this week.

One of the members who opposed Jordan's speakership bid, Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), said Wednesday that Jordan is "done" and "needs to withdraw" himself from consideration as he was unlikely to garner the necessary support to win the powerful leadership position, according to Breitbart.

Jordan is "done" and "needs to withdraw"

During an appearance by Rep. Bacon on CNN's "The Lead," host Jake Tapper noted that Rep. Jordan had actually lost votes between the first and second ballots on Tuesday and Wednesday and asked, "Do you see Jordan getting to 217 any time soon, or do you think he will keep doing worse and worse?"

"I believe he’s done. He needs to withdraw from this," Bacon said of Jordan. "He’s going to lose more votes tomorrow. I know it. I know who is going to cross over and change. He doesn’t have any pathway forward to 217."

"There’s two different reasons why," he continued. "We have some group that worked with him going back ten years. They worked with him on appropriations, more senior folks. He’s created a lot of chaos."

Bacon levels accusations against Jordan, his backers

"I’m in the other camp where I don’t like how he got here," Bacon stated as he alleged certain House rules were violated by Jordan and his backers to earn the nomination to be speaker, including the accusation that Jordan had refused to support the first nominee, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), who withdrew his own nomination after it was clear that he, too, would be unable to clear 217 votes as some members who backed Jordan were dead set against Scalise.

"So that was the straw that broke my camel's back there, when those five Jordan folks said they would never vote for Steve when he won the majority," the congressman continued. "Jim was there, and he didn’t speak up, which means he is somewhat complicit."

"You can’t play a game where I’m the only guy playing by the rules and the other guy is not. It’s not American. We believe in fairness, and the law applies to everybody. That wasn’t the case with a small group of individuals here," Bacon added.

For what it is worth, Fox News reporting at the time differs somewhat from Rep. Bacon's recollection of events, in that while he accused Rep. Jordan of failing to back Leader Scalise as the Speaker-Designee, the outlet cited sources who claimed that Jordan had urged his supporters to back Scalise's bid.

Yet, as noted, a full floor vote was never held on Scalise because he withdrew himself from consideration before it could occur, which led to Jordan being nominated instead a few days later.

Jordan suspends bid, backs proposed compromise solution

Now, however, Reuters reported that Jordan has suspended his speakership bid after the two failed floor votes and has expressed his support for a compromise solution that would empower Interim Speaker Patrick McHenry (R-NC) to serve as the Acting Speaker on a temporary basis.

That idea, which could garner some Democratic support, would expand the exceptionally limited authority McHenry currently wields in his interim role and allow the House to resume its normal business that has essentially been on hold since former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was ousted more than two weeks ago.

If that compromise solution were to be passed, Rep. McHenry would serve as the Acting Speaker until January, and given that Rep. Jordan only suspended his bid and did not formally withdraw from the race, it is possible that he could use the intervening months to try and build up the necessary support to obtain the speaker's gavel next year.

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