Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) denounced the barrage of threats and calls that Republicans say they have received since opposing Jordan’s nomination to be the next House speaker. No American should be harassed for their beliefs, he said.
Jordan lost a second round of votes for the speakership, receiving one fewer vote on Wednesday’s ballot than he did Tuesday. Though he flipped two Republican votes in his favor on the second ballot, he lost four of his GOP colleagues.
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Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa) said in a statement that after she flipped from voting for Jordan on Tuesday to another Republican, Rep. Kay Granger (Tex.), on Wednesday, she received “credible death threats and a barrage of threatening calls.”
“No American should accost another for their beliefs,” Jordan said on X, formerly known as Twitter, after Miller-Meeks’s announcement. “We condemn all threats against our colleagues and it is imperative that we come together. Stop. It’s abhorrent.”
Miller-Meeks was among a number of lawmakers who voiced concerns about threats and harassment they had received after voting for speaker candidates other than Jordan.
According to MinnPost, phones in the office of Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) rang off the hook Wednesday after he joined the Republicans opposing Jordan’s speakership. A Stauber staffer told MinnPost that most callers were upset with the congressman’s vote. The staffer added that most calls came from outside the lawmaker’s district.
Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) told reporters after Wednesday’s vote that the opposition to the Ohio Republican among the expanding group of lawmakers who voted against him is “profound.”
Womack, who voted for Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) on both ballots, argued that the Republican opposition to Jordan was not coordinated but rather an organic development among members from different committee assignments, tenures and states. The commonality between them, Womack said, was frustration with Jordan’s hard-line reputation and the tactics he has employed to win over support.
After the vote, Rep. John Rutherford (R-Fla.) elaborated on some of the threats that have been leveled at his staff and placed the blame squarely on Jordan for facilitating a culture of aggressive and extremist rhetoric.
“He is absolutely responsible for it,” Rutherford said of Jordan. “And look, it doesn’t work — especially against people like Steven [Scalise] and others. Nobody likes to have their arm twisted. Talking about individuals’ wives and those sorts of things? That’s just not acceptable.”
Rutherford appeared to be referring to the anonymous texts sent to the wife of Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), urging her to talk to her husband into supporting Jordan.
Texts to Bacon’s wife were reviewed by The Washington Post. One urged her to tell the congressman to “step up and be a leader,” while another asked her why her “husband [is] causing chaos by not supporting Jim Jordan.”
“It’s wrong that folks have no boundaries anymore,” Bacon said Wednesday. “We don’t live in fear, but holding people accountable is needed.”
The Idaho Republican Party said in a news release Wednesday that it, too, had “been inundated with emails and phone calls from registered Idaho voters expressing their profound disappointment with Congressman Mike Simpson’s decision today.”
That decision? Voting for Scalise for a second time in as many days.
“The people of Idaho expect Mike Simpson to represent their concerns and prioritize their needs above political games and partisan divisions,” the statement continued. “The true measure of his success will be in his steadfast defense of the constitution and the tangible benefits he delivers to the hardworking families of Idaho. We will be watching.”
As Jordan sought to shore up support among the GOP ranks ahead of the first vote on his speakership, The Washington Post previously reported, he and his allies mounted a pressure campaign that included having Fox News host Sean Hannity call at least one swing district Republican to push a vote for Jordan, and pushing Jordan’s right-wing supporters on social media to urge conservatives to call their representatives about voting for Jordan.
While some Republicans — in the wake of Jordan clinching the speakership nomination after Scalise withdrew last week following a failed campaign to gather the 217 votes necessary to claim the gavel himself — argued that Jordan has charted a more pragmatic political course within their conference over the past few years, others say they are skeptical that the founding member of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus has softened his ways.
Womack noted that the members who were against Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for speaker in January all wanted something in exchange for their vote, while those who are against Jordan now “don’t want anything” from him, underscoring the challenge Jordan faces in trying to flip the holdouts.
He added that the threats that had been leveled against him and his staff from Jordan supporters and allies represented a fundamental misunderstanding of the dynamics at play and only hardened opposition to Jordan.
Rep. Jen A. Kiggans (R-Va.) — who voted for former speaker McCarthy on Tuesday and Wednesday — said on X after Jordan lost a second time that “threats and intimidation tactics will not change my principles and values.”
And Granger, a key appropriator who cast votes for Scalise on both ballots, explained in a social media post that hers was a “vote of conscience and I stayed true to my principles.”
“Intimidation and threats will not change my position,” she said.
Leigh Ann Caldwell contributed to this report.