Republican House Majority leader Steve Scalise withdrew from the race for Speaker of the House due to lack of support. Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina said he was aware that between 30 and 40 GOP House members were unwilling to back Mr. Scalise. Texan Rep. Keith Self said it was obvious that the Congressman did not have the approval of fellow Republicans, while Rep. Ronny Jackson (TX) said it was up to Scalise to persuade his peers to back him but had failed to do so.
The GOP has been in disarray in the House of Representatives since former Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted following a resolution introduced by Floridian Rep. Matt Gaetz. Rep. Jim Jordan was in the running to replace McCarthy but did not receive the ballots needed during voting on October 17.
The GOP initially nominated Scalise, but he withdrew from the race a day later. Republicans put Mr. Jordan forward a day after that, but he only gained 200 votes in the first round. To win, a candidate must win 217. Opposition Democrat Hakeem Jeffries has the complete backing of his party and has won a total of 212 votes on each count.
In the second round, Jordan’s vote dropped to 199. The remaining 22 GOP votes were scattered between Scalise, Kevin McCarthy, and Lee Zeldin of New York. The results point to a fractured Republican Party besieged by infighting.
Jim Jordan said he would stay in the race, and some Republicans told reporters they had been subjected to intimidation tactics, and even threats, aimed at securing the role for the Ohio Representative. Marianne Miller-Meeks from Iowa told reporters she “received credible death threats and a barrage of threatening calls” after refusing to back Mr. Jordan. Virginia’s Jen Kiggans, Kay Granger of Texas, and Florida’s John Rutherford have all complained of heavy-handed tactics.
Mr. Jordan denied involvement in the intimidation and urged those responsible to stop.