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Jim Jordan still facing at least

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Jim Jordan still facing at least

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Rep. Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, still faces an uphill climb to the House speakership, with at least 10 to 20 Republican members who oppose his nomination, CBS News has learned, based on background conversations over the weekend with six key House Republicans and more than a dozen sources familiar with the deliberations. 

“At least 10 to 20,” one of the House Republicans told CBS News on Sunday, while another added that that Jordan’s support has grown incrementally in recent days but remains soft. 

While Jordan’s confidants remain optimistic that he can get to the necessary 217 votes Tuesday, when the House is scheduled to bring a vote to the floor, several who are more critical of Jordan privately insisted this weekend that at about a dozen Republicans remain unwilling to support him, due to their frustrations over how Rep. Steve Scalise, Republican of Louisiana, was treated during his speaker bid and their simmering anger over the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy. They also are wary of whether Jordan can handle the intensity of the challenges facing Congress in the coming months. 

GOP Speaker Meeting Oct 13
Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, center, and Russ Fulcher, R-Idaho, right, arrive at a House Republican Conference speaker of the house meeting in Longworth Building on Friday, October 13, 2023. 

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images


Jordan’s outside game 

Jordan has been relying on right-wing groups he has long backed, as well as allies close to former President Donald Trump. He has also counted on the support of activists, such as Amy Kremer, to win over those who were undecided this past weekend. Trump has taken calls about the speaker race but has not weighed in heavily beyond his past endorsement of Jordan, leaving some close to Jordan wondering if he will help close the deal in the coming days in a way that is significant and helpful. 

Some Trump allies, like former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, have told associates privately that Jordan made a strategic mistake by not bringing a vote to the floor last week. In recent days, others on the right have been urging Jordan to go to the floor this week to expose his critics in front of a national audience. Jordan’s allies have said privately that he did not go to the floor last week because he wanted more time to meet with members. 

Monday night meeting 

Sources say Jordan will try to rally GOP members on Monday night, when House Republicans are scheduled to huddle again, arguing it’s time to put this political mess behind them. But with internal GOP questions mounting — not only about Jordan’s character and abilities — but about how he will handle supplemental requests from the Biden administration on aid for Israel and Ukraine, many longtime appropriators and hawks remain concerned about how he would handle those issues. 

Ohio GOP Rep. Mike Turner, in an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, was a bellwether for where many House Republicans stand, according to Republicans involved in the speaker talks. 

“I think Jim Jordan will be an excellent speaker,” he told moderator Margaret Brennan. “I think he’ll be able to get to 217. If not, we have other leaders in the House. And certainly, if there is a need if the radical, you know, almost just handful of people in the Republican side … to make it for us unable to be able to return to general work on the House, then I think obviously, there will be a deal we’ll have to be done.”

Deal on Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick Henry?

If Jordan is unable to secure enough support by Tuesday’s vote, some key Jordan skeptics and veteran Republicans are now preparing to push for a bipartisan deal that would expand the ability of Rep. Patrick McHenry, Republican of North Carolina, to move legislation on Israel and government funding through his current ministerial role as speaker pro tempore.

McHenry is also being mentioned as a possible alternative to win the speakership outright, should Jordan fail to win on the floor this week. But those talks are fluid and many of his supporters are also hoping that McCarthy might see a revival if Jordan collapses. 

Other potential rivals 

Other names that continue to be mentioned by Republicans this past weekend as “backup options” for speaker include Rep. Tom Cole, of Oklahoma; Rep. Elise Stefanik, of New York; Rep. Tom Emmer, of Minnesota; Rep. Kevin Hern, of Oklahoma; Rep. Mike Johnson, of Louisiana; and Rep. Jodey Arrington, of Texas.

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