A wave of intimidation tactics, including death threats, has swept through Republican lawmakers, reportedly orchestrated by allies of Jim Jordan as he faces challenges in his bid for the US House of Representatives speakership.
On Wednesday, Jordan suffered his second defeat in the race for the gavel, and while he has disavowed any involvement in the harassment campaign, several Republicans have raised concerns about the behavior of his supporters.
Marianne Miller-Meeks, an Iowa Republican, disclosed that she had received “credible death threats and a barrage of threatening calls” after shifting her vote to an alternative candidate.
She explicitly condemned bullying and intimidation tactics, declaring that she could not support a bully.
Don Bacon, a Nebraska Republican known for his vocal opposition to Jordan, shared text messages with Politico that appeared to show his wife being harassed by a supporter of Jordan, with one message threatening the end of Bacon’s political career.
Although Mr. Jordan denied any role in the intimidation campaign and publicly condemned all threats, a number of anti-Jordan Republicans, including Jen Kiggans of Virginia, Kay Granger of Texas, and John Rutherford of Florida, reported inappropriate persuasion attempts from local conservative leaders and right-wing influencers supporting Jordan.
While they did not directly implicate Jordan, some lawmakers placed responsibility for the tactics on his shoulders.
Carlos Gimenez, a Florida Republican, stated that he confronted Jordan about the issue, questioning why the threats continued if Jordan had asked people to stop. Robocalls against lawmakers opposing Jordan’s speakership have also been reported.
Steve Womack, an Arkansas Republican, criticized what he referred to as the “attack, attack, attack” tactics used by Jordan’s allies against lawmakers who oppose his bid.
Even some of Jordan’s supporters acknowledged that this aggressive approach may have backfired.
The ongoing infighting within the Republican Party comes after Jordan’s second failed attempt to secure enough support for the speakership.
On Wednesday, he fell short of the 217 votes required, with 22 fellow Republicans voting against him.
As the leadership battle persists, the House remains unable to pass bills or approve White House requests for emergency aid, including potential assistance for Israel amid its conflict with Hamas.
Amid the turmoil, there are discussions about empowering acting Speaker Patrick McHenry for a temporary period of up to 90 days to break the deadlock and restore functionality to the Republican-controlled House.
The leadership struggle continues, leaving the Republican Party in a state of disarray and affecting its ability to govern and respond to critical national and international issues.