High-ranking Republican Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) has reportedly refrained from committing his support to Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-OH) bid for Speaker of the House. This came to light during a private meeting between the two.
CNN’s congressional reporter Annie Grayer and political commentator Charlie Kirk both reported Scalise’s apparent unwillingness to fully back Jordan. The setback comes after Rep. Jim Jordan already faced disappointment during the first round of voting for the Speaker of the House position.
“Scalise and Jordan just met,” Grayer reported. “Jordan asked for Scalise’s help in the Speaker race. Scalise wouldn’t commit. Not being a team player.”
Source tells me: Scalise and Jordan just met. Jordan asked for Scalise’s help in the Speaker race. Scalise wouldn’t commit. Not being a team player.
— Annie Grayer (@AnnieGrayerCNN) October 17, 2023
BREAKING: Jim Jordan just met privately with Steve Scalise requesting help in the Speaker race. Scalise would NOT commit and according to CNN's congressional reporter Annie Grayer, is "not being a team player."
What on earth?!
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) October 17, 2023
Despite the influential roles Jordan played within the GOP and having the backing of prominent figures like former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and ex-President Donald Trump, a caucus of 20 Republicans either voted against him or abstained.
Jordan’s supporters expressed shock and disbelief, particularly when former President Trump had confidently claimed that Jordan would ascend to the role of Speaker. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Chair of the House GOP Conference, also vocally supported Jordan, emphasizing his importance in giving a voice to Americans who felt underrepresented.
However, divisions within the GOP came to the forefront, not just with the voting, but also with the inadvertent broadcasting of a comment by Fox News host Brian Kilmeade. In a hot mic blunder, Kilmeade expressed frustration at Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) for his decision to vote in favor of McCarthy over Jordan.
Although Jordan’s campaign for the Speaker’s position boasts powerful endorsements, with Rep. Stefanik (R-NY) and Former Speaker McCarthy expressing their faith in his victory, the initial voting results show a more complex landscape.
With Jordan’s clear path to the Speaker’s chair now muddled, the House will witness more rounds of voting, mirroring McCarthy’s election process. There’s potential for further negotiations or even the introduction of a new nominee.
All eyes are on who will eventually rise to the coveted Speaker’s position.