Not Sure Jim Jordan Even Knows Where Things Stand

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WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 18: U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) listens as the House of Representatives holds its second round of voting for a new Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol on October 18, 2023 in Washington, ... WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 18: U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) listens as the House of Representatives holds its second round of voting for a new Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol on October 18, 2023 in Washington, DC. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) failed in his bid to become Speaker of the House on Tuesday after all Democrats and 20 members of his own party declined to vote for him. The House has been without an elected leader since Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was ousted from the speakership on October 4 in a move led by a small group of conservative members of his own party. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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I’ve been assisting my colleagues Kate Riga and Emine Yücel remotely as they run around Capitol Hill the last two days trying to get a semblance of an answer to the whys and the hows behind House Republicans’ government-halting charade. You’d think in editing all their work and writing up some of their interview clips, I’d have a better sense of House Republicans’ and Jim Jordan’s strategy here than the layman. But I don’t.

That’s likely because, as Kate and Emine have been reporting, there doesn’t appear to be one. The squishes straightened their spine again today, with several more moderates who supported Jordan in the first round of votes moving to vote for other Republicans, like ousted-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), one-time speaker-nominee Steve Scalise (R-LA) and, in one case, … John Boehner. A couple of the Jordan detractors moved to the Ohio Republican’s camp today too, but he ended the second round of votes with fewer supporters than he’d cobbled together for the first.

Like yesterday, as soon as the failed vote was gaveled to a close, some moderates began calling on Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-NC) to immediately reconvene the House for a third round of votes on the speakership. We’re not entirely sure what the thinking is here, but some reports indicate that moderates are purposely staggering their “no” votes to show that Jordan opposition is growing by the round. This would, at least, explain their interest in holding a series of rapid fire roll calls.

But it appears Jordan isn’t quite the same breed of masochist as McCarthy. The Republican nominee announced shortly after his second attempt at the gavel failed that votes wouldn’t resume again until tomorrow. He followed the same strategy yesterday.

This all comes as a possible time-buying scheme has ignited the curiosity of some Republicans and Democrats: expanding McHenry’s power temporarily. This would allow the House to actually sort of function as a legislative body, pass crucial foreign aid packages and broadly appear to have its shit together.

Jordan himself is reportedly on board with this plan:

But Republican leadership rebuffed the idea this morning and seemingly isn’t budging. McCarthy told reporters as he exited the chamber today that he found the idea to be unprecedented and urged his colleagues to be patient with Jordan. Other House Republicans like Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) believe it would be “unconstitutional” to expand McHenry’s powers.

“That was literally a name written in secret in case of a 9/11-style effort to decapitate the Capitol,” Waltz told Kate and other reporters this afternoon. “I applaud Speaker McHenry — Speaker Pro Tem McHenry — for having a limited view of that role.”

And so we plan to head into another day and another, potential, round of votes tomorrow as Republicans continue to flail amid the internecine combat.

The Best Of TPM Today

Here’s what you should read this evening:

Catch up on our live coverage today here: Rudderless House Republicans Plan To Run Jordan Back

Failed Michigan GOP Guv Candidate Sentenced To Prison On Jan 6 Charges

The House GOP Slo-Mo Trainwreck Enters Its Third Week

Fog of War, Rush to Judgment and the Day After

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

Jim Jordan Forces His Colleagues To Go On Record And Comes Up Short — Kate Riga, Emine Yücel, Nicole Lafond

What We Are Reading

Republicans Fear Jordan Speaker Bid Could Cost Them House Majority — New York Times

US is receiving dozens of UFO reports a month, senior Pentagon — CNN

Social media influencer charged with election interference in 2016 sentenced to prison — The Hill

Latest Where Things Stand
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