Punchbowl News is reporting that Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), once thought to have a grasp on the House speakership and later foiled by the “Swamp 22,” will back a motion to install Speaker Pro Temp Patrick McHenry (R-NC) as full interim Speaker through January.
The change of heart comes one day after Rep. Jordan lost ground on a second ballot to win the gavel. Conservatives have been gnashing their teeth at 22 Republicans like Reps Ken Buck (R-CO) and Kay Granger (R-TX) who have held grudges over Jordan’s response to the January 6th, 2021 riots at the Capitol and his allies’ treatment of Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) during his speakership bid. According to veteran reporter Jake Sherman, Jordan and McHenry met with other top GOP caucus leaders this morning to dispatch the plan and appease the growing number of GOP dissidents who want a semblance of leadership again in the chamber.
NEWS — JIM JORDAN will not hold a third ballot for speaker. He will back PATRICK MCHENRY as an interim speaker until JANUARY.
MCCARTHY, MCHENRY, JORDAN, COLE and EMMER met this morning
We reported this this AM in @PunchbowlNews AM.
CONFERENCE STARTING NOW.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) October 19, 2023
McHenry, 47, would need votes from the Democratic side of the aisle in order to secure the interim position, which carries all the power of full speakership. Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), one of Jordan’s fiercest critics, had previously pledged to motion for McHenry’s installation before Jordan’s failed second vote. Rep. McHenry, who has said in recent days that he is not interested in serving as Speaker, would need to participate in the scheme by recognizing Rep. Joyce on the floor later today.
The disastrous disarray plaguing House Republicans began with the defenestration of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) at the hands of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and seven allies who accused the California Republican of not being sufficiently conservative enough. However, as the days have gone by conservatives have grown increasingly agitated that Gaetz and his peers did not have a backup plan to avoid the calamity enveloping the chamber today. Despite Rep. Jordan’s leading role in the Biden impeachment investigation and endorsements from McCarthy and former President Donald Trump, he does not appear to have a path to victory, sources told Axios.
Rep. McHenry is a consummate Beltway insider, serving since 2005 while steadily climbing the ranks to serve as one of McCarthy’s top former deputies. He serves as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and previously served as Deputy Whip under Scalise, giving him an eagle-eyed look into the powers of persuasion he will need if he is to successfully wield the gavel through January.