Seven of the eight Republicans who sided with Democrats to oust then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) earlier this month said Friday they would be willing to accept punishment for their actions if it meant that the growing number of holdouts against giving the gavel to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) come around to the majority of the conference.
“The holdouts against Jim Jordan have no asks, have no goals, have no objectives other than to see the eight of us suffer some consequence for having removed McCarthy,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) told reporters after the third Speaker vote, which Jordan lost by his highest amount yet. “So we’ve made them an offer. The eight of us have said that we are willing to accept censure, sanction, suspension, removal from the Republican Conference.”
“We will of course remain Republicans, we will continue to vote with Republicans on Republican principles,” he continued. “But 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 for Speaker.”
Gaetz led the group of Republicans who ousted McCarthy. Seven of the eight in the group have since supported and voted for Jordan in the three House Speaker votes this week, while Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) has voted for Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.).
Jordan has lost support in each successive vote, with the Friday vote resulting in 25 Republicans voting against him.
Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) stood by his decision to oust McCarthy.
“We believe what we did was right. We stand behind what we did. We believe the Republican Party, the Republican Conference needs to change, Congress needs to change,” Good said. “However, if we’re the reason that the conference can’t come together and elect our Speaker designee then we’re willing to submit ourselves whatever consequence.”
“We share the Republican Party’s stated objectives and values, but we’re telling the conference if they want to bring consequence to us individually, and if that would help them to elect Jim Jordan as Speaker, then we were willing to submit,” Good added.
A letter solidifying the offer was signed by seven of the eight members who voted against McCarthy: Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), Eli Crane (R-Ariz.), Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.), Gaetz and Good; Buck did not sign on, but he says a miscommunication led to his name being included.
“What unites us as Republicans is more important than our disagreements,” the group wrote in the letter. “We must now come together to elect Jim Jordan. We offer this sincerely and with the hope of unity with purpose. Our fidelity to Republican virtues and principles remains unwavering.”
Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.), a McCarthy loyalist, said the group’s threats won’t change his mind.
“That will make me never vote for Jordan,” he told reporters. “Why? Because if this was their plot all along — to oust Kevin McCarthy, who was a rightful leader, to put the one that they wanted — that’s just rewarding bad behavior.”
—Updated at 1 p.m.