(The Center Square) — U.S. House Judiciary Chair Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told reporters Thursday afternoon that he would in fact keep running for speaker and hold another floor vote, despite reports that he was considering postponing his effort.
The news came after Jordan reportedly said behind closed doors he would back the speaker pro tempore, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., for a limited temporary speakership role so that lawmakers can hit key funding deadlines coming this year.
“I’ll just say this,” Jordan told reporters Thursday. “We made the pitch to members on the resolution as a way to lower the temperature and get back to work. We decided that wasn’t where we were going to go. I’m still running for speaker, and I plan to go to the floor and get the votes and win this race.”
The House faces a government shutdown deadline in the middle of November and calls to pass funding measures for the respective Ukraine and Israel wars.
“But I want to go talk with a few of my colleagues, particularly I want to talk with the 20 individuals who voted against me so that we can move forward and begin to work for the American people,” Jordan added.
Some Republicans were immediately critical of the news, which was reported by Punchbowl News, that Jordan would strike a deal with McHenry.
“There is no path for a GOP-only empowerment of a Speaker Pro-Tem so it will necessarily require Democrat votes,” U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, as rumors of the deal swirled. “It is, in any event, a fool’s errand — breaking with tradition & setting constitutionally questionable precedent to empower someone who is NOT the duly elected Speaker but will be empowered to negotiate a CR & massive supplemental bills (approx. $100BB) for Israel & Ukraine (& $ to process more illegals).
“It will then set the [House GOP] up for a Xmas omni ‘deal,’” he added. “I strongly oppose.”
A third vote for Jordan was expected Thursday, but Jordan’s reported temporary endorsement of McHenry delayed it. It remains unclear if lawmakers will vote later Thursday or later this week.
Jordan failed to get the needed 217 votes both Tuesday and Wednesday as moderate Republicans held out, voting for a range of other potential candidates. Senate Republicans chimed in as well.
“House Uniparty GOP members insisted last week that a ‘Speakerless House’ was a national crisis, but they’re now willing to experiment with unprecedented long-term pro-tem powers when asked to vote for a more conservative Speaker. Stunning hypocrisy,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, wrote on X.