(StraightNews.org) – Members of the US House of Representatives say they have been subjected to campaigns of intimidation and threats by supporters of Rep. Jim Jordan’s campaign to become Speaker of the House. In two votes, Jordan has fallen short of the 217 required to take the Speaker’s gavel, and Members say they have received intimidating phone calls to persuade them to change their vote.
Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska voted for Kevin McCarthy, the ousted former Speaker, and says his wife later received an anonymous text message asking why her husband refused to back Mr. Jordan and warning, “Your husband will not hold any political office ever again.”
Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks from Iowa said she has received “credible death threats” for refusing to back Jordan, who denies any involvement, and asked whoever is responsible to stop. Republican Drew Ferguson said the tactics would only backfire and said, “It became clear to me the House Republican conference did not need a bully as the Speaker.” Florida’s Carlos Giminez agreed and said the pressure tactics only reinforced his opposition to Mr. Jordan.
The House of Representatives has been in disarray since Floridian Rep. Matt Gaetz called for a vote to remove former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who he described as “weak.” Mr. Gaetz accused McCarthy of siding with Democrats when he introduced a bill in late September to prevent a government shutdown. The bill relied on Democrats to pass the House and was rejected by more than 90 Republicans.
McCarthy lost the subsequent vote and was ousted from the Speakership. Republicans initially nominated House Majority Leader Steve Scalise for the post, but he withdrew from the race a day later. Jim Jordan then stepped up and received 200 votes on the first count. In the second, this fell to 199. Mr. Jordan has so far refused to pull out of the contest.
Democrats are united by their candidate, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, who won all of his party’s ballots on both counts.
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