The House of Representatives’ bid to elect a new speaker ended in another stalemate on Wednesday after 22 Republicans voted against front-runner Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
Wednesday’s vote marks the second in which enough Republicans defected to kneecap Jordan’s speakership bid. On Tuesday, 20 GOPers — including Reps. Ken Buck of Colorado, Don Bacon of Nebraska, and Jen Kiggans of Virginia — voted for House members other than Jordan. These members and many others also voted against Jordan in Wednesday’s vote.
As The Daily Caller reported, Jordan needs at least 217 votes to become speaker. Meanwhile, Democrats are casting their votes for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.
While the speaker’s gavel remains up for grabs, some moderate Republicans are reportedly floating the idea of colluding with Democrats to pass a resolution expanding the powers of the chamber’s interim speaker. According to Fox News, the effort is being spearheaded by Rep. Dave Joyce, R-Ohio, and has gained support from other establishment Republicans, such as Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Florida, and Rep. Nick LaLota of New York.
Gimenez and LaLota are among the nearly two dozen Republicans to vote against Jordan’s speakership bid.
Republicans Hate Their Base
While not perfect, Jordan as House speaker would be a major upgrade for GOP voters. Not only does he sport a more conservative voting record than former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., he’s also one of the founding members of the House Freedom Caucus.
So why, despite a groundswell of support among conservative voters, have a handful of Republicans decided to tank Jordan’s speakership bid? While anonymously sourced conspiracies are likely to dominate legacy media’s coverage of the issue, the real answer is likely much simpler: Many of these Republicans despise their voters.
Don’t take my word for it. Bacon admitted as much when complaining to reporters earlier this week about the “pressure campaign back home” for him to back Jordan as speaker. The Nebraska congressman went on to say the reason he opposed Jordan’s initial speakership bid was to stick it to the few House Republicans who ousted McCarthy and prevented Scalise from becoming speaker.
“You don’t have a process where I play by the rules and some people can’t — and they get what they wanted, and now I’m supposed to play by the rules,” Bacon whined.
So, to recap: A grown man serving in the U.S. Congress is actively defying the will of his voters to spite some of his colleagues.
As petty and pathetic as his actions are, Bacon is merely a symptom of the greater cancer that’s infected the GOP establishment for years. On the campaign trail, these Republicans make grandiose pledges to stand up for conservative values and “drain the swamp,” only to discard such promises once they get to Washington.
It’s not that they forget what they promised. It’s that they never intended to fight for their voters in the first place. Whether on religious freedom, illegal immigration, or federal spending, conservatives can always count on the Republican establishment to sell them out.
If Republicans like Bacon spent as much time fighting Democrats as they did stabbing their own voters in the back, the battle for America’s soul would look more like a fight between two rivals than the one-sided shellacking Democrats are dolling out on a weekly basis.