Central Oregon DailyChavez-DeRemer, Bentz split on whether to back Jordan for House Speaker

Chavez-DeRemer, Bentz split on whether to back Jordan for House Speaker

Chavez-DeRemer, Bentz split on whether to back Jordan for House Speaker

Lori Chavez DeRemer Cliff Bentz

The two Republicans who represent Central Oregon in the U.S. House of Representatives took differing paths during Tuesday’s vote for House speaker.

Republicans rejected Rep. Jim Jordan for House speaker on a first ballot Tuesday, as an unexpectedly numerous 20 holdouts denied the hard-charging ally of Donald Trump the GOP majority needed to seize the gavel.

Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer, representing the 5th District, was one of those holdouts. She voted in favor of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Chavez-DeRemer released a statement saying eight Republicans voted with Democrats to punish McCarthy for working with Democrats on a deal to avoid a government shutdown more than two weeks ago.

“It’s clear the Republican Conference is divided, and I’m deeply concerned that the chaos of the last few weeks would only continue if Congressman Jordan becomes speaker,” DeRemer wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

In all, 212 Democrats voted unanimously for their House leader, Hakeem Jeffries of New York, while 200 Republicans voted for Jordan and 20 for someone else. Jeffries has no chance of winning, and Jordan must pick up most of his GOP foes to win a majority.

The holdouts are a mix of pragmatists, ranging from seasoned legislators and committee chairs worried about governing to newer lawmakers from districts where their voters back home prefer President Joe Biden to Trump.

DeRemer called for giving Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., expanded authority so the House can get back to work. McHenry currently only has the authority to hold a Speaker vote.

“In the meantime, I’m supporting Kevin McCarthy because he’s the only member who’s received anywhere close to the 217 votes needed to select a speaker,” Chavez-DeRemer wrote.

Rep. Cliff Bentz of the 2nd District posted a statement Monday night saying he would back Jordan.

“Having served with Chair Jordan on the Judiciary Committee for almost 3 years, I have had repeated opportunities to watch him lead productive and forceful discussions regarding the Southern Border, oversight of the FBI and Department of Justice, and review of Homeland Security and FTC. Additionally, Jim has spent years consistently supporting Republican Conservative values,” Bentz wrote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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