‘A Pound of Our Flesh’: 8 Republicans Who Ousted McCarthy Offer to Censure Themselves if GOP Will Elect Jordan

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Eight Republican members who voted to oust former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy offered Friday to accept censure or removal from the Republican conference in exchange for Republicans electing Jim Jordan as speaker of the House of Representatives.

Andy Biggs, Matt Gaetz, Ken Buck, Bob Good, Tim Burchett, Nancy Mace, Eli Crane, and Matt Rosendale signed the “Dear Colleague” letter sent Friday to their Republican peers acknowledging the “rancor,” “hurt feelings,” and “acrimony” that their decision to vote against McCarthy has caused.

The Republicans emphasized that though they stand by their actions, they recognize that “some in the Conference wish to punish us” and they believe that the House of Representatives imminently needs a speaker and that person should be Jordan.

If the current Republican members of Congress who are holding out will elect Jordan, the eight Republicans are “prepared to accept censure, suspension, or removal from the Conference to accomplish this objective,” the letter said.

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“If what these holdouts need are a pound of our flesh, we’re willing to give it to them in order to see them elect Jim Jordan as Speaker,” Gaetz said on Friday afternoon during a press conference with reporters.

The letter was released shortly after the House of Representatives voted for a third time on Jordan for speaker, and for a third time, Jordan failed to obtain the necessary votes.

Those Republicans who did not vote for Jordan were Don Bacon of Nebraska, Vern Buchanan of Florida, Ken Buck of Colorado, Lori Chavez-DeRemer of Oregon, Anthony D’Esposito of New York, Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, Jake Ellzey of Texas, Drew Ferguson of Georgia, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Andrew Garbarino of New York, Carlos Gimenez of Florida, Tony Gonzales of Texas, Kay Granger of Texas, John James of Michigan, Tom Kean of New Jersey, Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, Jen Kiggans of Virginia, Nick Lakota of New York, Mike Lawler of New York, Marionette Miller-Meeks of Iowa, Marc Molinaro of New York, John Rutherford of Florida, Mike Simpson of Idaho, Pete Stauber of Minnesota, and Steve Womack of Arkansas.

During Friday’s vote, three new Republicans who had supported Jordan in previous votes flipped against him: Fitzpatrick, Kean, and Molinaro. 

The vote indicates that Jordan may be losing ground with Republicans—he had won 199 votes from Republicans on Wednesday and 200 votes from Republicans on Tuesday but received 194 votes on Friday.

Before the vote, McCarthy nominated Jordan for House speaker, praising him as a leader, a listener, and a fighter.

“Jim is the right person to take that seat behind me, to be our next speaker of the House,” McCarthy told Congress.

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