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Representatives from Montana react as the US House continues without a speaker



Helena, Montana – Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio,’s candidacy for speaker of the House concluded on Friday, meaning the chamber would likely go another week without a session leader.

Prior to Friday’s speaker vote, which saw 194 Republican votes go in favor of Jordan and 25 party members vote against him, Jordan had the backing of both Montana House members. However, he fell short of the 217 votes required to win the speakership. Following the vote, Republicans convened in a closed-door meeting and decided against pursuing Jordan as their official candidate.

One of eight Republicans who voted with Democrats to “vacate the chair” and remove House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California is Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana’s eastern congressional district. This decision resulted in the current state of affairs. Rosendale has been an ardent advocate of Jordan—one of the most conservative members of the House—as McCarthy’s replacement.

“He’s a guy that fights very hard for our country,” Rosendale told MTN Friday. “He fights for the people’s rights – he truly does. I have now and always have had a very high regard and respect for Jim. I consider him a friend. Across the nation, Jim Jordan is the second-most-popular Republican in the country, second only to Donald J. Trump. And so to see him not be able to secure the speaker’s seat, I think really sums up what we’re dealing with within the conference.”

Rosendale said that he thought the majority of Jordan’s detractors weren’t so much directed at him as they were angry with McCarthy’s ouster from the party. In response, he posted a message on social media early on Friday morning, in which he and other Republicans who disagreed with McCarthy defended their actions and stated they would suffer criticism or other repercussions if the remaining supporters agreed to let Jordan assume the speaker’s role.

“If you want to direct anger at someone, place it upon us,” Rosendale said. “We’ll take the retribution, the repercussions for that in the form of censure or removal from the conference or suspension, whatever – so long as we can continue to move Jim Jordan forward as the speaker of the House because we truly believe that that is in the best interests of the conference and the country.”

Rosendale said the letter is now irrelevant because Jordan is no longer running for speaker.

Representative Ryan Zinke, who represents Montana’s western congressional district, was unavailable for an interview on Friday afternoon due to his return trip to his home state. He has also openly urged Republicans to come together in support of Jordan in recent days.

Zinke made a message on Friday night on the social networking site X, which was once known as Twitter.

“@Jim_Jordan is a patriot who’s fought hard for this country & I was proud to vote for him,” he said. “I respect his decision to step back. I look forward to electing a speaker who can lead the House in securing the border & passing funding bills to reign in Biden’s anti-American spending.”

Now, a fresh batch of Republican contenders is vying to become speaker. On Monday night, the Republican conference will convene to hear from the contenders and then vote on a new speaker-designate on Tuesday morning.
Rosendale informed that work is still being done, but until a speaker is selected, the entire House is unable to discuss anything other than that. In spite of the turmoil surrounding this process, he maintained that he thought that ultimately voting to remove McCarthy would be the best course of action in order to compel a change in the way House leaders conduct themselves.

“There’s a lot of folks that do not like to see conflict whatsoever – they want to see unity, we always hear that, we want to have unity within the party,” he said. “But the folks that elected me and sent me to Washington are more concerned about saving our country than they are about having unity within the party.”


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