The U.S. House of Representatives is still without a Speaker, as Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson joined 19 other Republicans in voting against Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-MI) bid for the position.
According to Simpson, Jordan was never supposed to be the nominee. Steve Scalise (R-LA) emerged as the official Republican nominee after McCarthy’s removal two weeks ago as Speaker of the House, but by Tuesday, most Republicans had struck an agreement with Jordan.
“I voted for Steve Scalise in the first round on the floor because he rightfully earned our conference nomination and deserved the opportunity to be considered before the full House of Representatives,” Simpson wrote Tuesday on X.
Rep. Russ Fulcher, the other representative from Idaho, voted for Jordan with the rest of his Republican colleagues.
“I look forward to continuing my support for Mr. Jordan on the House Floor for Speaker of the House,” Fulcher said Friday on X. “My colleagues and I are working over the weekend to ensure that Jim has all the support he needs to be Speaker.”
The Idaho GOP also sent an official statement Tuesday urging Simpson to vote for Jordan.
“We urge our Congressman to reconsider his position and refocus his efforts on addressing the significant issues confronting our constituents — rather than waste his time engaging in protest votes and parliamentary delay tactics,” said the press release.
Of the 19 Republicans in opposition to Jordan’s nomination, at least two others are willing to vote for Jordan in future rounds of voting. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), for instance, told CNN that his vote for McCarthy was a personal show of support for McCarthy and not an opposition to Jordan.
Simpson hasn’t said whether his vote shows a token of support for the original nomination system or his opposition to Jordan.
Simpson recently retweeted Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart’s (R-FL) call for a second vote. Diaz-Balart also voted for Scalise instead of Jordan, telling the Sun Sentinel the same justification that Simpson gave: Scalise was already the nominee.
Democrats still hold out hope that Republicans will replace McCarthy with someone willing to keep the far-right wing of their party in line, which is why they agreed to remove McCarthy. Jordan, who ignored a subpoena about the January 6 attacks and supports former President Trump’s claim of election fraud, is the opposite of what they hoped for.
Jordan has been a primary sponsor of 53 pieces of legislation across his 17 years as a representative, but none have become law, drawing criticism for his ineffectiveness as a congressman.
Without a Speaker, the House of Representatives cannot officially hold sessions to pass bills and take actions on world events, including in response to the escalating Israel-Palestine conflict.