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Tags: matt gaetz | kevin mccarthy | house | speaker | gop

Gaetz: 'Willing to Give' Jordan Holdouts 'Pound of Our Flesh'

By    |   Friday, 20 October 2023 12:39 PM EDT

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., came out with a peace offering Friday to frustrated Republicans.

Gaetz told reporters, after Jordan fell 21 votes shy of the 215 needed in the third round of voting for speaker, the eight House GOP members that co-signed the notice to vacate former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., would be willing to accept punishment if they would permit Jordan to ascend to the speakership.

"If what these holdouts need is a pound of our flesh, we're willing to give it to them in order to see them elect Jim Jordan as speaker," Gaetz told reporters right after the third vote for Jordan failed, noting the offer was officially made in a letter to their House GOP colleagues.

Among the punishments they would be willing to accept, according to Gaetz, would be House "censure, sanction, suspension," and up to and including "removal from the Republican conference."

Gaetz and others among those eight said that may include removal from House committees, but that they would remain reliable Republican-policy voters in the House.

"This is bigger than us," Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., told reporters in the same media scrum with Gaetz.

Opposition to Jordan's candidacy from within his party grew, with 25 Republican lawmakers voting against him, more than the 22 who had opposed in the second round Wednesday. Jordan received 194 votes, well short of the 215 he needed to claim the speaker's gavel.

At a news conference ahead of the vote, Jordan said the House needed to install a speaker so it could take up aid for Israel and other matters.

"Our plan this weekend is to get a speaker elected to the House of Representatives as soon as possible," he said.

A close ally of Donald Trump, Jordan was a "significant player" in the former president's attempts to overturn Biden's 2020 election win, according to a congressional investigation.

"I think there were all kinds of problems with the 2020 election, and I've been clear about that," he said.

The narrow and fractious Republican majority has failed to unite behind Jordan or any other candidate to replace McCarthy, who was ousted by a handful of party members on Oct. 3. They also have been unable to agree on a fall-back plan that would let the chamber take up legislation.

McCarthy said Jordan would be an effective leader.

"He is straightforward, honest, and reliable. That is who Jim Jordan is. That's what being a speaker is all about," he said as he nominated Jordan on the House floor.

Republicans control the chamber by a narrow 221-212 majority, though some members were absent from Friday's voting.

Jordan won six fewer votes on Friday than McCarthy netted in 15 grueling rounds of voting over four days in January.

Information from Reuters was used to compile this report.

Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., came out with a peace offering Friday to frustrated Republicans.
matt gaetz, kevin mccarthy, house, speaker, gop
Friday, 20 October 2023 12:39 PM
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