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Mace says anti-McCarthy Republicans will take punishment if it means Jordan is speaker

Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., arrives to the Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Oct. 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Jose Luis Magana/AP
FR159526 AP
Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., arrives to the Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Oct. 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023, lost the third vote this week to be speaker and succeed former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

The U.S. House Republicans who voted this month to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy say they'll face the consequences for their vote if it means Jim Jordan's GOP critics will elect him speaker.

That punishment could include censure or getting removed from the House GOP Conference, one of the eight who voted to boot McCarthy, U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, told reporters Friday in Washington.

"If that's what our colleagues want to do for us standing on principle, then do it," the South Carolina congresswoman said.

Mace later posted a photo of the letter to the platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

She wrote next to it, "Throw stones at me, it's fine. This is about keeping promises, leadership, and doing the right thing for the people we represent."

One of the eight names on the letter, Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, told reporters Friday he did not sign the letter. Buck voted to remove McCarthy, but did not back Jordan for speaker.

For the third time this week, on Friday Ohio's Jordan failed to get enough votes to be elected speaker.

Jordan received 194 votes to House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries' 210 votes. Another 25 members, all Republicans, voted for someone else.

Freshman Rep. Russell Fry, of Myrtle Beach, told Fox Business Friday that his constituents want Jordan, and want the House to "get back to work."

That sentiment was echoed by Mace.

"The people want Jim Jordan, and that's who they want," said Mace, who, earlier this month said she voted to fire McCarthy over his failure to keep promises, particularly around legislation she pushed on issues related to women.

McCarthy has disputed Mace's allegations.

Instead of backing Jordan, Mace said Friday that "some of our colleagues are putting personal politics ahead of the people, and we have a huge opportunity to change the direction of our conference, to change direction of our country."

A number of Jordan holdouts reportedly have received threats over their vote.

Asked about those threats, Mace told reporters Friday she has received threats as well, calling it a "reflection of the times that we're in."

"It breaks my heart that some of my colleagues are going through this,
she said. "I go through this almost every single day."

With North Carolina's Rep. Patrick McHenry acting as temporary speaker, the chamber took a recess after the vote and the House GOP Conference held a secret vote over Jordan's candidacy.

Jordan lost the conference vote, opening back up the speaker's race.

The House GOP Conference is "in a very bad place right now," McCarthy told reporters.

Maayan Schechter (My-yahn Schek-ter) is a news reporter with South Carolina Public Radio and ETV. She worked at South Carolina newspapers for a decade, previously working as a reporter and then editor of The State’s S.C. State House and politics team, and as a reporter at the Aiken Standard and the Greenville News. She grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and graduated from the University of North Carolina-Asheville in 2013.