Idaho divided on the vote for new U.S. Speaker of the House

Photo by Alex Brandon

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) lost a third speaker vote on Friday, Oct. 20 in the U.S. House of Representatives. After a private meeting amongst House Republicans, Jordan was removed as the candidate.

Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson voted against Jordan in all three votes, going against other Idaho Rep. Russ Fulcher. Simpson has expressed his continued support for House Majority Leader Steve Scalise.

“Steve Scalise earned my vote for Speaker in the last two rounds. He has repeatedly proven his leadership as our conference’s Majority Leader, and I am honored to support him. Intimidation and threatening tactics do not — and will not — work,” said Simpson in a tweet on Wednesday, Oct. 18.

Simpson’s votes have received backlash from Idaho Republicans including Dorothy Moon, the chairwoman of the Idaho GOP. 

“We would like to express our disappointment in our Republican U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson (ID-2) for not voting with the Republican caucus for Jim Jordan for Speaker of the House today,” said Moon in an emailed press release to The Arbiter.

Simpson believes that his vote is in line with his constituents and what the people want.

“If I took Chairwoman Moon’s gracious advice, I would support a Speaker who has continuously voted in opposition to critical funding for operations and continued research at the [Idaho National Laboratory] INL. The INL created thousands of jobs and generated over $120 million for Idaho’s state and local tax revenue last year alone, keeping the tax burden low for Idahoans,” Simpson said in an op-ed on Friday, Oct.20.

Fulcher, on the other hand, has held firm on his support for Jordan in the three votes.

“I voted for Jim Jordan for Speaker of the House again this morning and I am proud to continue to back him on behalf [of] my constituents in Idaho,” said Fulcher in a tweet on Friday, Oct. 20.

There is a worry centered around what this looks like to the United States and the world. Congress is not able to get anything done until a speaker is elected. Other states that remain divided on the vote include Florida, Texas, Oregon.

“We are sending a very bad message. We are sending a message of dysfunction, not only to those watching the situation in Israel, but right here at home,” Fulcher said in an interview with ABC News on Tuesday, Oct. 17.
The House plans to reconvene and “come back and start over” on Monday, Oct. 23 according to Scalise when talking with the Associated Press.

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