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Four Florida Republicans stand firm, vote against Jim Jordan despite pressure

Stung by intraparty opposition, including from 4 Florida Republicans, Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan stepped back from the House speaker race Thursday in what can be a partial repudiation of far-right brass-knuckle politics and a momentary reality check on Donald Trump’s hold on the GOP.

As an alternative, Jordan signaled support for a plan providing U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina Republican, broader powers to maneuver laws through the House. McHenry has served as speaker pro tempore, a post allowing for procedural moves but without power to gavel laws, since Kevin McCarthy was ousted as speaker on Oct. 3.

Jordan’s retreat comes after he twice did not win the speaker post in high-profile votes this week. In each cases, he fell far in need of the required 217 votes and suffered defections in Florida’s staunchly Republican delegation.

Three Florida Republicans said they rejected pressure politics in Jim Jordan vote

In the primary round, on Tuesday, Miami area Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Carlos Gimenez refused to support Jordan, as did John Rutherford of Jacksonville. On Wednesday, the three were joined by Vern Buchanan of Longboat Key as Jordan’s vote total went in reverse and did not even reach 200.

Jordan is a hard-right Republican who has been a strident member of the uncompromising House Freedom Caucus. The congressional Jan. 6 committee cited his assistance for, support of and leadership in efforts to overturn the 2020 election and lay the groundwork for the violence that took place within the U.S. Capitol that day.

Those supporting Jordan were said to have employed pugnacious and aggressive tactics to strong-arm the recalcitrant GOP members into casting votes for him. But that strategy decidedly backfired with at the very least three of the Florida Republicans who rejected Jordan’s candidacy.

Speaking on NBC News, Gimenez on Tuesday was sharply critical of the reported bare-knuckle pressure campaign on Republican House members to back Jordan.

“That is really sort of disappointing but additionally concerning to me because, if that is how he becomes speaker, that is the best way he’s going to get his policies through,” Gimenez said. “He’ll intimidate you, or his follower will intimidate you, into doing something it’s possible you’ll not need to do. I, for one, am not going to fall for it.”

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, second from left, speaks with former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy after Jordan failed to win the House speakership in Wednesday's vote.

The network also reported that Rutherford’s office received aggressive calls from Jordan supporters.

“I believe he’s absolutely liable for it,” Rutherford was quoted as saying. “It doesn’t work. No person likes to have their arm twisted or talking about individuals’ wives. … That is just not acceptable.”

Diaz-Balart reportedly was upset at the best way the Jordan camp last week treated the House speaker candidacy of Steve Scalise of Louisiana. But Diaz-Balart eschewed the thought he would bow to pressure.

“The final thing you wish to do is attempt to intimidate or pressure me, because then I close out entirely,” he was quoted as saying.

A Buchanan aide said the congressman from Southwest Florida had “not received any threatening texts or experienced pressure tactics others have described.”

‘Get their act together’:How the division over House speaker could affect GOP in 2024

Other Republicans said they’d received menacing communications, including Iowa Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who issued a press release saying she had “received credible death threats and a barrage of threatening calls” after flipping her speaker vote away from Jordan.

U.S. Rep. Nick LaLota of Recent York on social media shared a message he said he received telling him to “go f*** yourself and die.” The spouse of Nebraska U.S. Rep. Don Bacon’s wife received menacing text messages.

Trump supported Jim Jordan, but didn’t have coattails long enough to pull Ohioan to speakership

Jordan did have Trump’s full support. The previous president endorsed Jordan for the post this month and reiterated that position on social media Tuesday.

“Jim Jordan can be a GREAT Speaker of the House,” Trump posted. “As everyone knows, I even have way back given him my Complete and Total Endorsement.”

Even so, Trump’s backing was not enough to shut the gap and hand Jordan the speaker’s gavel.

As well as, despite his demand that the Republican National Committee hold no more primary presidential candidate debates and as a substitute endorse him, the RNC this week confirmed a 3rd debate can be held on Nov. 8. What’s more, that encounter can be in Trump’s backyard, in downtown Miami just south of the previous president’s Mar-a-Lago club down Interstate 95.

Meanwhile, the stress throughout the deeply, and bitterly, fractured GOP caucus on Thursday sparked a verbal altercation between a Florida congressional lawmaker, Republican Matt Gaetz of Pensacola, and the person he led the ouster of from the speaker’s post, McCarthy.

Gaetz said that, in a closed door meeting, McCarthy had yelled at him.

“I believe his passions are a bit bit inflamed,” Gaetz said, adding that he told his colleagues he supports Jordan and the GOP mustn’t consider what he called “a speaker light” concept.

“I said that I assumed that having a speaker light


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