Rep. Jim Jordan is refusing to drop out of the race for Speaker despite not having the votes to secure the gavel, instead the Ohio congressman is backing a plan to empower temporary Speaker Patrick McHenry (R-NC) as he works to shore up support.
Jordan is onboard with empowering McHenry to reopen the House and conduct crucial business until January, sources at Thursday’s closed-door GOP conference meeting told the Associated Press. McHenry has been serving as temporary speaker since Kevin McCarthy was ousted two weeks ago.
This comes as Jordan continues to bleed support in his bid for the speakership. The congressman suffered a devastating rebuke on Tuesday from House Republicans as 20 members opposed his candidacy. That number grew to 22 on the second ballot Wednesday. A third vote scheduled for Thursday has been called off.
Even though Jordan supports a resolution to empower McHenry and Democrats were warming to the idea, some Republican members of Congress oppose it, making things even more complicated.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) chair of the House Republican conference, came out strongly against the resolution to empower McHenry.
“I strongly oppose any attempt to create a Democrat backed coalition government,” Stefanik said in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
Empowering McHenry would have required support from Democrats.
Reps. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) and Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) said that the resolution to empower McHenry is “dead”.
“The resolution is dead,” Donalds told reporters, according to the Hill. “Yeah, I think it’s dead. I mean, like I said over there from my colleagues that wanted to support it — I understand why but I just don’t think that it’s gonna happen. We do not have support in our conference for it.”
Donalds predicted that the resolution will not even make it to the floor.
Buchanan made similar remarks, telling reporters, “reading the room, this thing is dead.”
It is also unclear whether McHenry would even want the job.
“I did not ask for additional powers,” he said. “My duty is to get the next speaker elected. That’s my focus.”
According to AP, there is now a growing realization among Republicans that the House could remain endlessly stuck, out of service and without a leader for the foreseeable future as the Republican majority descend into chaos.